South may be forced to take in more asylum seekers
More UK asylum seekers could be sent to the South East of England after northern councils complain they’re taking an ‘unfair’ amount
- Hundreds of asylum seekers could be sent to the South East instead of the North
- 120 local authorities offered to rehome refugees, while 180 have taken none
- Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he wants more areas stepping up to the plate
- He took action after councils threatened to withdraw from the dispersal scheme
Hundreds of asylum seekers could be sent to live in the South East rather than the North after the Home Secretary agreed to reform the way they are shared out when they arrive in Britain.
Sajid Javid took action after councils in the North threatened to pull out of the dispersal programme due to ‘mounting chaos’.
It could mean dozens of leafy towns in the Home Counties are forced to take in asylum seekers for the first time – including the Prime Minister’s own local authority of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Sajid Javid took action after councils in the North threatened to pull out of the dispersal programme due to ‘mounting chaos’
Only 120 authorities have stepped forward to rehome refugees, while 180 have taken none.
The Government acted after Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, threatened earlier this month to refuse to take in any more asylum seekers.
He said there was ‘mounting chaos’ in the Government’s dispersal system which was facing ‘catastrophic failure’.
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He claimed it was unfair that, under the current system, the North West hosts 25 per cent of the national population of asylum applicants who require housing and support, with Greater Manchester housing 70 per cent of that number.
But in a letter to Mr Burnham, Mr Javid said he wanted to see more areas stepping up to the plate.
He promised a ‘reduction in the proportion of dispersal’ to authorities that take large numbers, and a ‘commensurate increase’ for those that take lower numbers or none at all.
The Government acted after Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, threatened earlier this month to refuse to take in any more asylum seekers
Latest figures show there are currently 6,681 supported asylum seekers in Greater Manchester – a 102 per cent increase since 2003.
Mr Burnham revealed the Home Office’s stance during a meeting of the Commons home affairs select committee last night.
He added: ‘Greater Manchester has a long tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution. We are the largest dispersal area in England by some margin.
‘We have to have fairness from the Home Office when it comes to the arrangements that are being made. If we don’t have that, we would have to seriously consider our position. We need to see a much fairer distribution across the country.’
Last night a Home office spokesman said: ‘We are working with a wide range of local authorities to increase the number of areas that accommodate and support people seeking protection – every local authority is encouraged to contribute.’
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