HUNDREDS of villagers packed into a public meeting to voice their opposition to plans for an asylum refuge in Kirkheaton
Kirkheaton Parish Church vicar Rev Richard Steel announced last month the church was hoping to offer the use of its abandoned school building to asylum charity ASSURE.
The charity wanted to use it as a night shelter for between four and 10 failed asylum seekers. More than 200 people descended on the old school building last night to confront workers from the church and asylum charities.
Despite appeals for order from chairman Clr Peter McBride the rowdy atmosphere saw speakers in favour of the plan heckled and verbally abused.
Chief opponent of the plan Charles Wilkinson said his petition had now reached more than 1,700 signatures and many members of the crowd shouted out fears about crime and disorder.
Rev Steel admitted the petition had a “huge” number of signatures and said supporters of the cause were now considering hosting asylum seekers in their homes instead.