A TOWN council has condemned vandalism caused to a property that had been earmarked to become a House of Multiple Occupancy for asylum seekers.

Millom Town Council said it was 'very disappointed' to learn a property has had windows smashed, unlawful access gained, and damage made to the structure inside including spray painting on walls, doors, plasterboard and tools stolen on Thursday morning.

This comes after a pause on licences to accommodate asylum seekers in HMOs in the town was officially made permanent as a result of the challenges set out by the Cumberland Authority, Whitehaven Police, the Northwest SMP, Trudy Harrison MP and Millom Town Council.

In a public statement, the council said the damage has left a 'bitter taste' with the developer who was 'trying to do the right thing'.

It said: "They have been open, honest and tried to achieve common ground with ourselves as a council and the local community to provide a solution to not only local concerns but provide much-needed refurbishment for the community.

"This behaviour will not be tolerated and Millom Town Council will work with the police to bring those responsible to justice.

"There will continue to be building works carried out in a number of properties across the town to convert them back to their original purpose and the workers need to feel safe and supported by the town to carry out these remedial works so that these homes can again be occupied by local people.

"The blame for all these properties being converted in the first instance lies squarely with Serco and not the developers or their building teams as they only go where they are instructed to by Serco."

This follows opposition in the town to housing the asylum seekers with homes thought to be involved in the scheme targeted by vandals and graffiti saying 'not welcome scum'.

It was believed up to 40 asylum seekers were to be housed in homes bought up by developers to be turned into HMOs.