‘Destroying Our Way of Life’ – Locals Protest Putting 1,500-Strong Migrant Camp in Small Village

Former Royal Air Force Station, RAF Linton-on-Ouse is pictured in the village of Linton-on-Ouse, near York in northern England on May 4, 2022. - The village of Linton-on-Ouse is usually a sleepy place, but its residents are up in arms at a government plan to house over a thousand asylum …
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Distraught villagers staged protests this week against the Boris Johnson government’s plan to dump some 1,500 migrants in a camp in their community of only around 600 adults.

The Priti Patel-led Home Office, which failed to consult or seek permission to install the migrant camp, was met with protest and ridicule on Thursday by the residents of the village of Linton-on-Ouse outside of York in the North of England.

Residents held banners reading “Asylum centre. Wrong plan, wrong place,” the York Press reported.

The government is planning on housing up to 1,500 migrants at the former Royal Air Force (RAF) base in the village, falling in line with previous military installations being converted into migrant camps amid the ever-worsening boat crisis in the English Channel.

Home Office officials were reportedly heckled on Thursday evening during a meeting in the village hall, with one woman telling the government bureaucrats: “Whatever you say, you are not going to give residents any peace of mind.”

Residents went on to express their concern that housing migrants totalling twice the population of the town would radically change their way of life — all without their prior consent.

“I don’t think you are grasping the concept of what you are doing to our community,” one resident said.

“People are upset. 1,500 men are coming to our village of 600 adults. What are you doing to carry out a proper impact assessment?” another questioned.

It was also alleged at the meeting that a police officer had advised women to no longer wear short skirts in public out of safety concerns posed by the male migrants. A police official said that the alleged comments would have been inappropriate for an officer to say.

Another resident claimed that as a result of the government announcing the plans to open up the migrant camp, all house sales have fallen through.

The local noted that villagers would have to seek planning permission to make alterations to their homes, such as building an extension — but the government was able to radically transform the entire community without going through a democratic process.

The spokeswoman for the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group (LoOAG), Dr Olga Matthias, said: “In what now feels like a concerted effort, they have ignored established processes and protocols. The Home Office, which should be at the forefront of the overarching objective of government – to keep its citizens safe – has set out to destroy this community and our way of life.

“With no consultation, no planning permission, and no risk assessments on any front, and despite overwhelming opposition from all sides, they are ploughing ahead with an insane plan to place 1,500 asylum seekers in a rural village.”

This week, a vote of no confidence in the Home Office was passed on a bipartisan basis by the North Yorkshire County Council in response to the planned encampment.

Amid record number of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats launched from the beaches of France, the government has put up alleged asylum seekers in hotels across the country as well as a former military barracks in Folkestone.

The migrant holding centre has been rife with violent outbursts from the migrants there since its inception, with one incident seeing migrants set fires to buildings to protest the supposedly poor conditions within the camp.

The government has also seen pushback over plans to open a camp for 500 migrants at a Royal Air Force base in Barton Stacey in Hampshire, which is home to a local population of only 1,000 people.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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