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CRITICISM OF 'FREELANCE' PLACEMENTS OF REFUGEES IN SEASIDE RESORTS

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There is growing concern that 'freelance' placements of asylum seekers in northern coastal resorts by councils in t...
There is growing concern that 'freelance' placements of asylum seekers in northern coastal resorts by councils in the south of England could lead to a summer of stretched resources - and potentially worse.

The Guardian (p4) reports that, according to the British Resorts Association, resorts continue to receive asylum seekers sent ad hoc and without notification by authorities in London and elsewhere in the south east.

This is despite the launch this month of the home office's new centralised scheme designed to ensure a fairer distribution. Peter Hampson, director of the BRA, warned: 'We are particularly worried about the summer season. Potentially we could have high numbers of asylum seekers in resort towns competing for space with large numbers of UK visitors, some of whom may be less tolerant than others.'

Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South and secretary of the parliamentary 'seaside group' of Labour MPs, has twice alerted the home office minister Barbara Roche to the 'ad hoc and apparently unplanned' placement, warning that the trend 'jeopardises the success of planned dispersal by turning large sections of opinion locally in these towns against refugees'.

He said: 'Credibility of the national system must be maintained, and unofficial arrangements make it easier for critics to condemn the system as a whole.'
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