Communities Secretary writes to UK Immigration Minister.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has called on the Home Office to live up to its responsibilities and find a long-term solution for asylum seekers that will not leave them destitute and homeless. This follows SERCO’s announcement they are to restart their lock change eviction programme in Glasgow. Ms Campbell has written to Caroline Nokes to ask her to take urgent action.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Rt Hon. Caroline Nokes MP
Minister of State for Immigration
2 Marsham Street
12 June 2019
Rupert Soames, CEO of Serco wrote to me yesterday to announce that Serco will be restarting the eviction of people from asylum accommodation. I am extremely disappointed at this turn of events, which Glasgow City Council estimates will impact 300 homes.
As I and others have repeatedly made clear, the conclusion of this sorry situation must not be that people are made destitute and homeless, with the local authority and third sector organisations being left to pick up the pieces. The Home Office has to live up to its responsibilities. It is not acceptable to leave the asylum accommodation provider to deal with the inevitable results of a flawed system, and to wash your hands of the consequences.
There must be a solution that supports people to move on from asylum accommodation without leaving them destitute and homeless. This may be back into section four asylum support, if they are making further submissions or a fresh asylum claim, or where there are barriers to return to their country of origin. It could also be by voluntary return, with the appropriate support in place.
I am aware that Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, has invited you to visit Glasgow to hear first-hand about the council’s experience as the leading asylum dispersal city in the UK. I encourage you to take up this opportunity, particularly at this crucial time and to provide answers to this desperate situation.
We are at a key moment in asylum dispersal in Glasgow. All partners must work together to achieve a long lasting solution that respects the dignity and rights of those affected.
As this is an entirely reserved matter, the Home Office has the power and responsibility to intervene and must provide leadership. I look forward to your urgent response and am committed to working with you to resolve this situation.