Greenwich write to govt as 700 Afghan refugees placed in hotel

Greenwich Council have written to government and claim assistance has not arrived with 700 Afghan refugees placed at the Intercontinental hotel in Greenwich.

The council state:

“There are now close to 700 people from Afghanistan currently self-isolating in a quarantine hotel in the borough. The promised package of support from central government, including interpreters, welfare support and funding has yet to materialise, ten days after the first refugees arrived in the borough.”

The letter reveals there are 500 adults and 200 children in the hotel beside the O2.

The hotel’s website states it is closed until 18th September.

The letter also criticises neighbouring authorities Bexley and Bromley for not taking any refugees.






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16 thoughts on “Greenwich write to govt as 700 Afghan refugees placed in hotel

  • The people need support urgently but its an odd place to put them in a top of the range hotel when the borough is skint and already seeing massive housing pressure. Maybe government are wondering why they chose a 5 star hotel?

    And where will people go after with thousands of people living in the borough already being shipped off to Kent and Essex. Surely they won’t be housed in the area given the huge existing housing problems?

    • I’m pretty sure thousands in emergency or temporary housing havnt been sent to Kent or Essex. It’s more like dozens or low hundreds.

      As for the hotel, it may be one of the few places available. It needs supervision and of sufficient size with all in quarantine.

      In terms of afterwards, who knows as govt need to fund but there really needs to be an urgent and immediate move to build many more truly affordable and council homes. I had hoped politicians would raise the need as this brings further pressure but many are silent. With so many on the waiting list (23k) and in emergency housing in the borough (1,400) the issue is absolutely pressing.

      People arriving aren’t to blame for chronic housing problems but will take the blame from some, when it’s years of failure from politicians that’s the real cause.

  • It’s so easy to blame a large, visible target than put the real culprits under the microscope.

  • It’s a 5* hotel. I’m not happy it’s my council tax bring spent on this. Many residents from the old Ferrier estate were moved out of the borough.

    • I’ m not sure if locals are paying I’d expect it to be the Home Office, though RBG are complaining of costs so not entirely sure to what extent central govt are paying.

  • There is a desperate need for more new social housing.

    After the war pre-fabricated buildings (prefabs) were erected and new towns created to help ease the housing crisis of the time.

    It may be time the Government started to think about using new pre-fabricated homes again and constructing new towns for the future. Just like did back then.

  • It’s very easy to discern why this hotel was used: you only need look at it’s entry on Googlemaps: it’s been used for Covid quarantine well before the current Afghanistan crisis. They are in quarantine – like anyone else who enters the UK – including British subjects. I know the ‘subtext’ was important there but …

  • @Graham: successive governments with the Tories being arguably the worst, have made it harder for ordinary people to have decent, affordable housing because the planning system is geared towards developers. Those who manage to jump the mortgage and other hurdles, may find themselves living in poorly built properties that are expensive to fix.

    Prefabricated homes are cheap and quick to build but even where a council goes down that route, the scale is small and the project drawn out. There is simply no will on the part of local authorities or national government to address the housing problem.

  • Considering what these people have been through a 5* hotel is the least they deserve. Does anyone know if there is anything we can do to provide assistance directly to these people besides the numbers of charities that are providing clothes, nappies etc. These people are going to need long term help due to what our nation has voted for in the past.

  • Indeed. Then there’s the fact they were all working directly for the UK in some capacity i.e. for the British Army, Embassy, and other British interests.

  • This is clear the statement on this from RBG:

    “ As a borough with significant connections to the military, we are doing all we can to support those who worked for our forces in Afghanistan. However, we urgently need government assistance to ensure that people are safely accommodated and treated with care and dignity.

    While council staff gave up their bank holiday weekend to provide urgent support, the civil servants sent to assist simply observed. The promised package from central government, including interpreters, welfare support and funding, has yet to materialise. I have written to the government urging them to help, but am yet to receive a reply. We will continue to push the government on this, so the council doesn’t end up footing the bill.”

  • Had to scroll far too long to find the humane comment… but the good news is that the council say these particular people have everything they need (wonder if they agree) but recommend donating to the charities you mentioned. I know Care4Calais are particularly smart about ensuring donations go locally and not miles away so if you donate items in Greenwich, chances are they will go to these people. Very good point on the washing machines-

  • =

    “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.”

    Charles de Gaulle

  • 💯 There is far too much ugly nationalism in politics and a lack of compassion on the part of many.


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