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Migrants moan about ‘no wifi’ at asylum seeker centre in small UK village

A new video shows asylum seekers protesting outside a military base.

The footage shows the group outside MDP Wethersfield in Finchingfield where they are waiting to have their claims processed.


In the video, the men are heard chanting “wrong plan, wrong place”. Fields Association, the local group campaigning against the asylum centre, co-opted the slogan.

In a separate video, taken from the same scene, one asylum seekers can be heard saying: “We just need better accommodation.”

MDP Wethersfield in Finchingfield

PA

Another says: “Since from four months, we haven’t [had] contact with our family because of internet. We don’t have money, actually, to buy something.”

It’s not the first protest held at the site. New occupants of the former RAF airbase have complained about the lack of WiFi and temperature inside the accommodation facility.

According to local residents and campaigners, the village is “creaking at the seams”.

Repeating the complaints of the occupants of the centre, Chairman of the Fields Association Tony Clarke-Holland said: “’It’s like a prison here, we’ve got no medicine, we’ve got no wifi, we’ve got no blankets, we’ve got no water’. I mean, you name it, it was on the list.

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Tony Clarke-Holland

Chairman of the Fields Association Tony Clarke-Holland

PA

“Now the reality is, I’ve been over there because the Home Office have been taking groups of local people, businesses or the Fields Association, over there to show what it’s like.

“It’s like portacabin city over there. It’s quite huge.”

Currently, the number of migrants on the old airbase is around 550, which is around 150 less than the population of Wethersfield.

But when the base is at capacity – around 1,700 – asylum seekers will outnumber local residents by more than two to one.

He added: “Whether I agree or I don’t agree with the asylum seekers, I sit there and think actually, if you are an asylum seeker and you really have come from a treacherous situation, surely you’d be thinking ‘ok, this is not ideal, but it’s peace and it’s quiet, I’ve got no security worries, I’ve got some food, it’s warm.’

“So I struggle a little bit to get my head around it.

“One of the guys even said ‘we haven’t got enough sugar’ and I thought ‘really?’.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The welfare of individuals at the site is of the utmost priority.

“The Home Office is committed to ending the expensive use of hotels for asylum seekers and working with local authorities to enact the changes.

“We are working closely to listen to the local communities’ views and reduce the impact of these sites, including through providing onsite security and financial support.”

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