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Scarborough council to decide whether to accept asylum seekers

Scarborough council will make the decision
Scarborough council will make the decision

Scarborough council is set to decide whether to accept a number of asylum seekers into the borough as its officers warn it could impact on the number of people being homeless.

If the council accepts the request it would see no more than 20 people placed in Scarborough borough.

However, if the council declines to take part, acceptance can be forced on it by the Government regardless.

The Conservative-led cabinet of the authority declined to make a recommendation when it met earlier in June, leaving it up to the 50 councillors to decide when they meet on Monday.

In a report which will go before the council at the meeting, director Nick Edwards laid out the biggest concern for the authority.

He wrote: “One of the biggest implications to the council is likely to be the impact on homelessness. Successful asylum seekers would be entitled and referred to the council for housing should their application be successful.

“The council is already under significant pressure in relation to homelessness. Duties were increased this year following the introduction of the Homeless Reduction Act. Numbers of homeless households are growing as is the number of homeless households placed in temporary accommodation.

“Failed asylum seekers, once evicted from the dispersal accommodation, have no recourse to public funds or housing from that date. Whilst they are asked to leave the country they are not deported as a matter of course. This potentially could result in an increased risk of destitution and rough sleeping within the borough.”

Scarborough has previously housed five Syrian families fleeing conflict in their home country in 2017.

The asylum dispersal scheme would be run by G4S while the asylum seekers have their applications for asylum processed.

Accommodation for the asylum seekers would come from the borough’s existing housing stock.