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THE Home Office decision to use Penally camp should continue to be questioned but there must not be a “repeat of the ugly scenes of the first week.”

but protesters “getting 100 likes” on a video is not going to make them change their minds.

Local councillor Jonathan Preston called on those gathering daily outside Penally camp in objection to its use more peaceful methods as he addressed full council on Thursday (October 8).

He said that those causing trouble and filming it might get “100 likes” but it “won’t make the Home Office review its decision and that’s what I would like.”

Cllr Preston added that a site hundreds of miles from established support networks was not a suitable place for people fleeing persecution.

Pembrokeshire County Council received a report on the situation at Penally, which had been prepared before a community engagement meeting, held on Wednesday, October 7.

Head of infrastructure said that 394 were connected to the webcast of the meeting compared to 170 for a similar event in Folkstone.

Mr Thomas added that there were currently 102 men seeking asylum on the site with more expected this week and there were no safeguarding concerns identified following a council visit.

Cllr Preston said: “Two hundred and fifty males under the age of 35 of any nationality or background would have an impact on a small community like Penally,” adding that when the army used the camp it had created challenges.

He said the community will manage the situation but it had been an “anxious couple of weeks. What we don’t want is a repeat of the ugly scenes we saw in the first week.”

He questioned the government’s treatment of the locality and called for the decision to be challenged.

A webcast of Wednesday’s engagement meeting is available on the council website and written answers to some of the questions raised.

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