ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO MAKE WEEKLY VISITS TO QUEEN’S HOTEL
Housing enforcement officers are making weekly visits to the Queen’s hotel in Church Road after more than 500 asylum seekers were placed there by the Home Office.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed expressed outrage at the placement – which last week attracted major news stories in the Daily Mirror, The Sun and a two-page spread in the Daily Mail.
A Croydon council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: ““Our enforcement officers have visited Queen’s hotel and can confirm the occupancy of the rear building has been reduced to 68 to comply with its licence.
“The occupancy of the main building has also been reduced to no more than four unrelated people sharing one room.
“We are satisfied that the accommodation is adequate now these issues have been resolved.
“Housing enforcement officers visited on 3, 4, 11 and 16 September. “The hotel had brought some previously unoccupied rooms into use so there was no statutory overcrowding on the last visit.
“We will be following up with weekly visits to ensure the management of the building is to a good standard.”
CLOTHES, BOOKS AND TOYS FOR THE QUEEN’S HOTEL CHILDREN
Clothes, books and toys for the children of the Queens hotel have started pouring in following an appeal by the Salvation Army centre in nearby Westow Street.
As online local forums raised the issue of how best to help those seeking asylum, church leader Captain Lorraine Kinnear suggested Upper Norwood Salvation Army co-ordinate a community response – offers of support soon flooded in.
She said: ‘When our community heard about people being accommodated at the Queen’s Hotel, and in particular that there were children there needing support, they wanted to do something.
“After liaising with the hotel we decided to provide clothes, toys and books for the children, who had arrived in the UK with very few possessions.”
Sandrine Levy spotted a Facebook post from Lorraine asking local mothers to support the children at the hotel – volunteered to help and made a donation.
Said Sandrine: “It was an amazing, positive way for our community to come together and to support the children who had so little. “We’re all local mums so we’re inclined to help when it comes to children, either by giving our time or donations.’
Lorraine and her husband Captain Michael Kinnear received generous donations from the community – from pairs of shoes for a small child who had none to providing toys, games and books – which they took to the hotel for its residents.
As the centre is en route to the town centre, the ministers have also received visits from Queen’s Hotel residents – there they have received a friendly welcome and been invited to take part in the church’s community activities, to pray or to chat.
Captain Kinnear said: ‘We packed bags for the children at our church building with community volunteers – there was a real feeling of community spirit. “We have been totally overwhelmed by everyone’s desire to help out.
“As a church and charity we are dedicated to providing support to people who are vulnerable or in need in the community, offering practical help and compassionate support without discrimination. “This week, our community has epitomised this as we worked together.”(Source: Salvation Army press release)