Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children - MP Chairs Commons Meeting
North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has today (Tuesday 13th November) chaired a House of Commons meeting with eight local authorities to launch the "Unaccompanied Care Leavers and Asylum Seekers Report".
The report, which highlights the manner in which local County authorities caring for Asylum Children are being short-changed by Central Government, has been prepared by Kent, Birmingham City, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Manchester City, Oxfordshire, Solihull, and West Sussex Councils. Together, these local authorities are owed in the region of £35 million by the Home Office and the Department for Children and Education and several million of that money is owed to Kent.
"There is a deep flaw in the manner in which Central Government calculates the money that it contributes" says Roger Gale "and a conflict in policy between a Home Office that stops paying when an asylum application is rejected and young people who, under both the Government's own Children's Act and UNHCR regulations, have a right and a need to be cared for. That is a matter that lies directly within the responsibility of Gordon Brown and his cabinet and he must address it".
The meeting was attended by representatives of the local authorities and the Borders and Immigration Agency and by MPs Caroline Spelman (Meriden), Lynn Jones (Birmingham, John Randall (Uxbridge), Nick Hurd (Ruislip), Andrew Smith ( Oxford), Julian Brazier (Canterbury), Steve Ladyman (South Thanet) and Damian Green (Ashford).
Further representations, with renewed requests for meetings, will now be made to Ministers.