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Plans to use a West Lothian hotel to house asylum seekers scrapped

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

Plans by the Home Office to use a Bathgate hotel as accommodation for asylum seekers have been scrapped.The council had been told that up to 81 single men predominantly from the Middle East or Africa would be accommodated at the Cairn Hotel while their asylum applications were processed.The council was first advised six weeks ago that the Cairn would be used as an asylum hotel.However this week it emerged that no agreement had been made and that the Cairn would not be accepting asylum seekers.The Home Office would not comment on why the hotel was not being used, or confirm whether other sites in West Lothian were being considered.The news came just a week after the council’s director of Health and Social Care, Alison White, outlined government plans to use the hotel to accommodate those awaiting decisions on whether they would be allowed to stay in the UK.The accommodation is managed for the Home Office by a firm called Mears.

It is responsible for the day to day running of asylum hotels. The council would have had no input.A spokesperson for a PR firm acting on behalf of the Cairn said: “The Cairn is a public hotel, however under the same umbrella of Hannigan Hotels we also operate the Cladhan Hotel in Falkirk, which is currently leased to a private company that houses asylum seekers within the property.

It’s my guess that this is potentially where the confusion lies.“The Cairn has no asylum seekers, as I mentioned it is private guests only at that property.”She added: “We have been in touch with the company that leases The Cladhan Hotel in Falkirk to ask if they know anything.

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