Extremists target asylum protesters
January 28, 2003
Political extremists have tried to drum up support among villagers campaigning against asylum- seeker centre proposals. Members of the far-right British National Party have posted leaflets through doors in Caythorpe, near Sleaford, following a row over asylum plans. Villagers have been told the former Lincolnshire School of Agriculture at Caythorpe Court is on a shortlist of sites being considered for temporary asylum accommodation. The Caythorpe Action Group, formed to oppose the plan, held a meeting in the village last night. Group leader Terry Norman said the BNP was not welcome to join the campaign. “They are an extremist party and we don’t want anything to do with them,” retired Mr Norman (72), from Caythorpe, said. “We do not want any extremist organisations or racists and we are not going along those lines. “We are just asking that asylum-seekers be housed somewhere more convenient, both for them and the village.” The campaign leader said he had been sent a package from the BNP in Yarmouth containing leaflets and newspapers. But Mr Norman said he was about to burn it. “We have nothing and will not have anything to do with this group,” he said. Hundreds of people packed out last night’s meeting to voice concerns about the Government’s proposals – which would be put into action by developer Angel Group. Protest organiser Janet Norman (70) told the meeting: “The number of people who have turned up this evening shows exactly how much support there is. “We have touched a nerve even now with the amount of pressure we have put on the Angel Group. “We’ve got a hell of a fight on our hands but we’re determined, unless we stand up to be counted we will be snowed under.” Resident Derek Welsh added: “The village simply does not have the infrastructure or facilities for this centre. “Caythorpe would be unable to support the 550 asylum-seekers which are intended for the centre, let alone the 400 support staff required to run it.” Fellow protester Phil Turner called for people to write letters to the Government. “We are going to bombard them with letters. This centre will not happen.” Builder Spencer Staff (56) said: “We need to keep it legal or else it could backfire. But if it comes to it we’ll take it all the way.” Angel Group managing director Julia Davey did not attend the meeting. But she sent a message to the campaigners saying the group was a responsible company which would consult parishioners. The action group now plans to meet every Monday at 7.30pm at the Village Hall. What do you think? Write to Your View at Lincolnshire Echo, Brayford Wharf East, Lincoln LN5 7AT. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org One year on, and still no answers … see Page 16.