A group of cross-party local council leaders have launched legal action against the Home Office over its “unfair” and “fundamentally flawed” asylum dispersal system, which they say is undermining migrants deprived of vital services. Is.
Six local officials in the West Midlands, as well as the Tory-led Stoke-on-Trent, have accused the department of an “irrational, undemocratic abuse of power” after it refused to accept its decision to stop taking asylum seekers. was refused.
The asylum dispersal system is designed to allocate asylum seekers in different parts of the UK to Home Office funded housing while they await a decision on their claim.
However, in recent years there has been growing concern that the placement of these individuals is concentrated in parts of the country – often with high levels of shortages in towns and cities – and this is creating pressure on local services.
The councils – Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Walsall, Birmingham, Dudley and Sandwell – said they made up “a small proportion of mainly urban councils in the UK” that are awaiting a decision on their claims for asylum seekers. Take in bulk. .
He wrote a letter to the home secretary in March saying he had decided to suspend participation in the asylum dispersal scheme because large numbers of people were being placed in areas that were already home to an asylum seeker. 200 exceeds the recommended proportion of local residents.
The Home Office has opposed this decision, and councils have subsequently taken legal action through the High Court in Birmingham to “resolve the issue”.
Clar Ian Brookfield, leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, a leader in the legal action, told Granthshala The asylum dispersal plan was “flawed and fundamentally broken”, and that it was “hidden from the British public”.
“Fundamentally, this is unfair. There are hundreds of officials up and down the country who turn a blind eye to the issue, so the Home Office keeps coming back to the officers who are always ready to help,” he said.
“We are talking to the home office regarding this and have not received any assurance. nothing changes. They need to implement a fair, equitable and properly funded national system – not just talk.
“We can’t talk about this anymore, so until things change, we are sadly withdrawing ourselves – with a heavy heart – from the national dispersal plan that we have been a part of for years. “
It comes as local officials are being urged by the Home Office to come forward to provide homes to newly arrived Afghan families.
Cler Brookfield said it was a “strange situation” for the councils to find themselves in, as they were some of the first local officials to come forward to resettle Afghan refugees.
“Three months before we came on television, all over the West Midlands, all the local authorities – cross-party – said yes we want to help those who helped the British forces in Afghanistan,” he said.
“We still want to get involved, but you can’t picture from the same well. We can’t provide more than what we’re already doing.”
Stoke-on-Trent Council’s Conservative leader, Clerk Abi Brown, said the Home Office should “encourage – or ideally mandate” – officials to participate in order to make the system “fair”.
“People are concentrated in neighborhoods where housing is of little value, and those neighborhoods already have significant issues of their own. This is fair to neither the asylum seekers we are placing there, nor the people who live there. For the residents,” she said.
“We need a national debate on this, around the pressure and the benefits that come with asylum dispersal.”
Cler George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, which has been participating in legal action despite being a city of sanctuary since 1999, said the Home Office was “kicking the issue in the tall grass” and asylum seekers were victims. As a result, access to health services and other support was becoming increasingly difficult in the region.
“If everyone had their fair share it would not have been such a problem. Asylum seekers will have a better quality of life. This is an issue for the entire country, and it needs to be addressed now. They cannot come to the same officers,” he said.
Cllr Duggins said delays in the Home Office system were making the situation worse by leaving asylum seekers “in limbo” for longer periods, adding: “On top of the Windrush scandal, this is evidence that The home office still doesn’t fit. Purpose. The problem is that everyone incurs the cost.”
A statement issued by the councils on Tuesday said: “Failing to respect our decision is an irrational, undemocratic abuse of power – volunteer officers should have the same rights they have never volunteered before and still do.” refuse to do so.
“We would like to emphasize that we are fully committed to playing our rightful role in providing safe asylum and a positive future for asylum seekers or asylum seekers, but the scale must be proportionate and appropriate. In fact, This will be achieved only by the government taking the action requested by us.”
A Home Office spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the ongoing trial, but that it was working on a plan in partnership with local authorities to achieve a more equitable dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK.
He said: “The government is committed to making every effort necessary to protect the rights of asylum seekers and to provide them with the safe, secure housing they deserve.
“We are working closely with our housing providers to increase the amount of scattered housing available to us. We need the support of local authorities to do this and we are committed to working with them.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /