Needham House Hotel in Little Wymondley is being used to house asylum seekers, but Councillor Elizabeth Dennis, the leader of North Herts Council, has voiced concerns that the "isolated location is unsuitable" and "could place the people moved into the hotel at risk".

The hotel suddenly closed to the public two weeks ago due to "government business", cancelling bookings, including weddings and proms.

"For people to have these special events cancelled at very short notice is frankly appalling," said Cllr Dennis.

Commenting on the use of the hotel for asylum seekers, she said: "Not only is the isolated location unsuitable, we are concerned that placing vulnerable people here not only puts additional pressure on public services but could also place the people moved into the hotel at risk.

"Our county council is working with our partners to ensure access is provided to the appropriate public services available.


"All placements for people seeking asylum are made by the Home Office and they are best placed to explain their decisions.

"We will continue to raise concerns that we and our statutory partners have with the Home Office in order to help ensure the welfare of those seeking asylum and stress the need for better coordination if hotels or other forms of accommodation have to be used in a crisis."

Cllr Dennis says she has been working with our MPs and writing to the government to seek reassurance that appropriate support is in place.

She added: "We are aware many people want to help and welcome these people to the area, and are working with our community partners on donation options. Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information."


Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has already voiced his opposition to Needham House Hotel being used to house asylum seekers, saying: "Not only is there insufficient infrastructure locally, placing those seeking asylum in a rural village with very limited facilities and transport links does not seem well thought out for anyone."

Needham House Hotel has been contacted for comment.