OCT 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
City Pledges To Take More Asylum Seekers
is to take in more than 650 new asylum seekers over the next year
as part of a national scheme to spread the people in need around
city council must spend up to £314,000 to help pay for the asylum
seekers’ accommodation in the first year of a new dispersal
system run by the National Asylum Support Service, but will get
the money back next year.
was set up after local authorities in some parts of the country
were overwhelmed by the number of people arriving in their area
and looking for help and started sending them wherever in the
country they could that had space to take them.
currently has direct responsibility for 137 asylum seekers, and
another 1,600 are living in the city but are paid for by social
services departments in other parts of the country.
a new contact, the city will provide another 237 units of
accommodation in the forthcoming year. This is expected to be
split between families and individuals at a ratio of 60 per cent
to 40 per cent.
Phil Townshend told yesterday’s cabinet meeting that no Coventry
families would lose out through this arrangement.
said that the vast majority of asylum seekers were not living in
council houses. New families will go into some of the houses, now
run by Whitefriars, in parts of the city that are hard to let.
Townshend praised the efforts of a multi-agency task force set up
in Coventry to try and co-ordinate better support for the asylum
Cllr Dave Nellist (Socialist, St Michael’s), said he was
concerned that the people moved to Coventry from London and Kent
were not getting the help they needed because no-one in the city
knew exactly where they were or what support they were receiving.
added that placing the responsibility of care on private landlord
used by the other authorities to house the asylum seekers was
fraught with danger, as they were not trained in these matters.
my fear that in some of these cases we have lost the ability to
monitor and control the standard in which some of these families
Chohan of the social services department said it was a problem,
but a database was being set up to log families’ whereabouts.