The fund is already more than a fifth of the way towards its £10,000 target after being launched on Thursday evening.
“We face a difficult couple of weeks and the threat of immediate legal action,” said Furnace Action committee spokesman Robert Lloyd.
“We want to be in the best possible state of readiness for any legal action, when it comes. We want to hire an expert KC and other barristers to defend the cause and we are sure the people of Furnace, Llanelli and the rest of Wales will rally around to support the Fighting Fund.”
The Furnace Action Committee say they have been working for eight weeks to object to the Home Office’s plan to house asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel, highlighting the scrapping of a four-star hotel, the loss of 100 jobs and the loss of revenue from tourism
The group also criticised the way the Home Office is pushing through what they describe as a flawed plan to house asylum seekers – without any public consultation, highlighting the impact the plan will have on the local community and services
The Furnace Action Committee say they are non-political and are made up of more than a dozen people who have the best interests of Furnace at heart.
Following Carmarthenshire Council’s announcement that the authority will not be pursuing the legal High Court injunction route to oppose the plan, the Action Committee said it has been forced to review its plans.
It says it is now likely a court action will be started by Clearsprings Ready Homes and/or the Home Office and hotel owners Sterling Woodrow (Gryphon Leisure Ltd) to regain access to the site.
This court action may involve substantial legal costs for home owners in the immediate vicinity – home owners who are currently temporarily allowing protestors to occupy the forecourt in front of the hotel.
Spokesman Robert Lloyd said: “Our legal advisers suggest we need to employ a KC and other barristers as soon as possible to fight any proposed court action. Our initial estimate is that we need a fighting fund of at least £10,000.
“The fighting fund will be administered by at least three members of the Furnace Action Committee. The fighting fund’s accounts will be transparent and published at an appropriate stage in the battle. The beneficiaries of the fund will be determined by three trustees representing the Action Committee, but will likely be the people named in any court action to regain control of the access to the hotel.”
Sterling Woodrow has signed a deal with the Home Office and tender operators Clearsprings Ready Homes to house 241 asylum seekers in 76 rooms at the hotel. There has been widespread concern over the plan, with the battle to save the hotel being led by the Furnace Action Committee, a volunteer group formed after a well-attended public meeting in Llanelli.
The entrance to the hotel off the B4309 has been a focal point for protests since the asylum seeker plans were revealed nearly six weeks ago.
(Lead image: Furnace Action Committee / Robert Lloyd)
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