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ALG DEMANDS SWIFTER ASYLUM SYSTEM

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Home secretary Jack Straw has agreed to meet the London boroughs over their calls for faster dispersal of asylum se...
Home secretary Jack Straw has agreed to meet the London boroughs over their calls for faster dispersal of asylum seekers and extra funding.

The Association of London Government wrote to Mr Straw last week seeking an urgent meeting to lobby for similar guarantees provided to Kent CC earlier this month. Mr Straw has agreed to meet the association but no date has been fixed.

The letter said: 'Boroughs cannot offer the leadership needed if resources for other essential services are drained. London, like Kent, is full.'

Kent has been assured that refugees arriving at its ports will be fast-tracked through the National Asylum Support Service and moved away from the county.

But the ALG claims several London boroughs are under greater strain than Kent and that fast-tracking through the NASS should apply to all new asylum seekers arriving in the capital.

It is also seeking funds to cover the costs incurred in 1999-2000 and a commitment to pay the full cost of providing services to asylum seekers this year. The association puts the annual shortfall for London boroughs at£30m.

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