Right-wing extremists have been targeting hotels sheltering asylum seekers in Hertfordshire, a county council report has revealed.

The Home Office has contracted eight hotels and an independent living accommodation unit in Hertfordshire over the past 12 to 18 months "to accommodate the rise in the level of asylum seekers arriving in small boats across the channel", explains a Hertfordshire County Council report on refugee and asylum seeker migration into Herts.

It says these establishments are housing more than 1,100 people, including 170 children. 

"There has been an extreme right-wing presence at several hotels in Hertfordshire," says the report.

"This has included filming of hotels and hotel residents, which is then subsequently posted online on group channels, as well as leafletting anti-immigration narrative in residential areas to alert residents to the fact that asylum seekers are being accommodated in their area. There has been an online mention of a potential banner drop at one of the hotels. 

"Hertfordshire Prevent Officers in both the local authority and police are aware of the risks and are liaising with local police teams and the Home Office to ensure the safety and security of all residents, both in the hotels and in the towns where hotels are located."

The report also highlights how one of three 'bridging hotels' in Herts, providing temporary accommodation for about 300 people evacuated from Afghanistan, had to relocate its occupants due to safeguarding concerns.

The report looks at the impact of Government resettlement schemes for Afghan, Ukrainian and Hong Kong nationals on education, housing and social care provision countywide.

"With almost 2,000 additional pupils arriving in the county via the various schemes in the past 18 months, and ongoing, the pressure on school places across the county is significant," it says.

"Where there are no school places available within the statutory walking distance, Home to School Transport has to be provided, which puts even greater pressure on a budget that is already extremely over-stretched."

Hertfordshire currently has 1,743 people settled under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, but there is "major concern", as less than 250 hosts are willing to continue, the report says, "leading to significant issues due to pressures on suitable available housing stock and an increase in homeless representations".

The report is due to be discussed next week by the county council's Joint Children, Young People and Families and Education, Libraries and Lifelong Learning Panel.