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Migrant workers update

Published: 24/03/2015

Flintshire County Council’s Chief Executive Colin Everett said: The Council is continuing to work with the migrant workers to help them plan for the future, either in the local area, elsewhere in the UK or their repatriation. Just under 50 of the migrant workers who stayed for one night at an emergency reception centre at Holywell Leisure Centre have now all moved to short term temporary accommodation in the local area. The Leisure Centre is now open as normal. About 40 workers who have stayed for two nights at a second emergency reception centre in the region will be moving to short term temporary accommodation today. All have continued with their daily work since they moved from the property in Sealand on Sunday. None of the temporary rehousing options being offered to those who wish to remain locally involve allocating council and other social housing properties for which there are waiting lists. Prohibition orders have been served on the premises in Sealand and prosecution action against the owners is under consideration. Background The purpose of the operation on Sunday 22 March, the first of its kind in Flintshire, was to protect the welfare of a large and growing number of migrant workers who were inappropriately housed in unsafe and illegal premises in the Sealand area. It was a multi agency operation involving the Council, Police, Fire, Health, Government departments and British Red Cross who provided humanitarian assistance as required. The operation could have taken one of several courses depending on the situation found on site. Approximately 100 migrant workers were found to be housed in grossly unsuitable and unsafe premises and the partner agencies had no option but to immediately close the premises with emergency prohibition orders and transport the occupants to a reception centre. Given the large number of people involved the partner agencies had to open a second emergency reception centre in addition to the main reception centre which had already been planned as a contingency. The migrant workers were cooperative and many have expressed their relief that they are now able to access welfare advice and support having lived in such horrendous conditions. The main reception centre was a specialist one located in the region. The second reception centre was in Holywell Leisure Centre which is listed in our emergency plans to be used as a reception centre in an emergency and was able to be made available at short notice. All of the migrant workers involved are European nationals with a right of free movement. None of them are illegal immigrants. Neither is there any criminality on their behalf. They are all people who came to the UK to find employment.


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