Recommendation to Approve Full National Asylum Dispersal – Latest news from Mole Valley District Council

On 4 October 2022, Mole Valley District Council’s (MVDC) Scrutiny Committee will be asked to consider the recommendation for Cabinet (at its meeting on 18 October) to approve the proposed model for the fair dispersal of asylum seekers at a regional, and local authority level.

The Home Office announced earlier this year its intention to review the geographic distribution of accommodation for asylum seekers to release pressure on a limited number of local authorities that currently host such accommodation.

‘Asylum seeker’ means a person who has applied for asylum under the ‘1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees’ on the grounds that they have a well-founded fear of persecution should they return to their home country. Most asylum seekers are unable to pay for their own housing. They are also unable to claim benefits and they are not allowed to work. 

All local authorities are expected to participate in a new system of full dispersal to allow asylum seekers to move from hotels to more suitable privately rented dispersed accommodation procured by the Home Office’s contractor, Clearsprings.

The Home Office has provided regional targets and asked the Regional Migration Partnerships to agree the regional distribution with its local government partners.  The regional target for the South East is to accommodate 7,200 asylum seekers by December 2023. The allocation proposed for MVDC by the South East Migration Partnership’s local distribution plan is 68; a 0.9% share of the regional target.

Councillor Caroline Salmon, Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “I very much hope that the recommended approach towards the national asylum dispersal will be approved at a local and National level.
 
“We support asylum seekers, directly or indirectly, in a range of ways together with our partners in health and other public services

“I’m confident that we will be able to support asylum seekers who require our help in lots of ways, and contribute towards meeting the national targets.”

 

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