Tonight, at the request of the city council, two previously secret memos from the city council were made public.
Community interests At the end of September, Groot Azelo submitted a Wob request to obtain all information about the state of affairs surrounding the arrival of three hundred refugees to Azelo via the Government Information (Public Access) Act. The city council decided yesterday to lift the secrecy of two documents. In fact, a decision on this would not be made until February 1 at the latest. The city council did not want to wait any longer with the now released documents.
One of those memos, addressed to the group leaders in the city council, states that on August 24, Mayor Jan Pierik van Borne was approached by the director of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers with the question whether the municipality was ‘receptive’ to the reception of asylum seekers. .
It was also already clear at that time which asylum seekers were involved; for the refugees housed in barracks of the Ministry of Defense and a tent camp at Heumensoord.
A day later, according to the same memo, the Board unanimously indicated that it was admissible to the COA’s request. But under one condition: there must be council-wide support for a ‘yes’ to the COA.
Another day later, on August 26, a meeting will take place between the group leaders in the Bornse city council and the municipal council about the request of the COA.
Finally, on September 15, the letter from the Ministry of Justice and Security and the COA lands on the floor of the municipality, in which a formal request is made to receive asylum seekers again in Azelo. Local residents will not be informed of the plans until a week later.
In the period between August 24 and September 22, however, it becomes more restless in Azelo. Things are happening that indicate movement around the former asylum seekers center. A local resident told how he saw that weeds were suddenly being weeded near the building. He went to talk to the manager and then heard that the installation company that COA always works with had recently concluded a service contract with the municipality for two years.
A writing on the wall, but local residents heard nothing about the plans from the city council. In fact, residents of Azelo say that questions about what was going on around the reception of asylum seekers were answered in the negative.
Speaking to the local news site Borne Boeit, chairman Wim Jansen of Community Interests Groot Azelo says: “It confirms what we already thought. We suspected that something was going on before 15 September.”
He refers to a conversation he had with alderman Arno Spekschoor. “He claimed on September 10 that there was no request, but ‘that you could sense that this would come’. We thought that was strange. How?”
Incidentally, at the end of September, the city council canceled the plan to receive asylum seekers in the building that had already been used for that purpose several times. This happened under pressure from public opinion. That did not alter the fact that the question from local residents and other residents of Azelo remained: what happened with that request to the municipality of Borne to receive asylum seekers again. There will be an answer to this shortly when, thanks to the Wob request from Community Interests Groot Azelo, about a hundred documents are released.