Asylum seekers are to be housed in a former old peoples home which Kent county council originally closed because they said it would be too expensive to maintain.
The building sits directly behind a primary school, and local residence have been out to protest the plans, arguing there are more suitable sites available.
Victoria Madden, a parent at the demonstration, told Kent Online:
“The protest is about the fact we were not told and had no chance to voice our opinions on the housing of 16, 17 and 18-year-old ‘young men’ – as they put it in our meeting – probably no more than 20 feet from the school.
“They’re talking about putting up six foot fences, 24 hour security – I didn’t send my kids to school for it to be a prison. I sent my kids to school so they had the free run of the playground without wondering what’s behind the six foot fence.”
The home was closed down in 2011, as the council was facing cuts and could not afford to maintain it. Local man Graham Rowland, who has lived in the area since 1988, said before the protest: “I don’t like the idea at all. If we can’t afford to use it as a care home for English people why are we giving it to the foreign nationals?
Adding: “Who is monitoring it? It’s at the end of the road and we have got a junior school behind it.”
“Our personal experience of young asylum seekers is that there is nothing to fear and much to learn from individuals who are both vulnerable and often have humbling stories to tell.
“As members of the community we can help them understand what it means to live here respectfully. As the churches we are experienced in supporting and mentoring young people, and of course in praying for them.”
Kent council now cares for over 600 “unaccompanied minors,” rising from roughly 240 last year. The authorities have been forced into desperate and expensive measures by the ongoing migrant crises, such as paying for youngsters to be taxied to London, as Breitbart London reported yesterday.
Some residents have argued, however, that there are more suitable locations to house the young men as they are being processed. Many, for example, have suggested Dover and Canterbury barracks, which is disused and could house up to 600 people.
Ms Sands, of Eversleigh Rise, Whitstable, said on Saturday:
“The protest is about the location, overlooking a primary school and right next door to a nursery.
“Our fears are that we have no known age of these young men. We’re told 16, 17, but from previous experience of other centres that actually not of that age, they’re older.
“There’s no medical history, they come with no passport, basically we’re worried about the safety of our own children.”
Breitbart London reported in May on a similar case in Sweden, where elderly residents of a home were forced to vacate to make way for asylum seekers. Being told they would receive compensation only if they packed and left within a month, the 10 residents of the Sörmark home were horrified to find their modest accommodation would be housing over 100 new arrivals.