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ASYLUM DISPERSAL: GOVERNMENT SAYS CRITICISM NO LONGER APPLIES

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Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, immigration minister Barbara Roche welcomed the Audit Co...
Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, immigration minister Barbara Roche welcomed the Audit Commission's report on asylum seekers but said most of the criticism no longer applied, since the government introduced its national dispersal scheme for asylum seekers at the beginning of April.

She said there was now consultation with local authorities, which should prevent problems. The home office had a contract with Glasgow City Council for housing for asylum seekers and other local authorities were coming on stream.

'We want local authorities to have a voice in this', Ms Roche said. 'They've formed regional consortia to liaise with us and we want to encourage them. What we can do is contract directly with them and we want that to happen.'

In a statement from the home office, Ms Roche said:

'I welcome today's Audit Commission report on the dispersal

arrangements. It makes a useful contribution to the ongoing

development of our policy. We will continue to work with regional

consortia to ensure that asylum seekers are properly supported while

their claims are being considered, and that no one area takes a

disproportionate financial responsibility.'

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