Call to rethink Plymouth's asylum seeker dispersal role
HOME Secretary Theresa May has been urged to rethink Plymouth's role as a dispersal centre for asylum seekers because of the unfunded 'strains' it puts on public services.
The call was made at Westminster by Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Oliver Colvile who highlighted the lack of financial support for health and education provision.
Mrs May said there were no plans to review the policy which sees Plymouth being used to accommodate asylum seekers.
But the Secretary of State said there would be an opportunity to raise concerns with Immigration minister Mark Harper when he visits the city shortly.
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Speaking in the Commons, Mr Colvile said: "Given that Plymouth is one of the main dispersal centres for asylum seekers, which places strains on local public services, but without significant financial support, are the Government willing to review that policy and, if so, when?"
Responding, Mrs May said: "We have no plans to review the policy.
"At local level, those providing accommodation are contractually required to discuss the local impact with local authorities, education providers and others so that it can be assessed regularly.
"The Minister for Immigration will be visiting his constituency in the coming weeks and will be able to see for himself the impact that this is having there and discuss the issue."
Speaking afterwards, Mr Colvile said: "The local authority is under an enormous amount of pressure to deliver services."
Plymouth is one of 86 towns and cities that are currently used to accommodate asylum seekers.