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GOVERNMENT APPEALS FOR AN 'OPEN MIND' ON NEW RURAL ASYLUM CENTRES

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Home office minister Beverley Hughes this morning appealed for open ...
Home office minister Beverley Hughes this morning appealed for open

mindedness during the consultation period about the setting up of asylum

seeker centres in rural areas.

'I accept that an accommodation centre in an area like Newton in

Nottinghamshire would be a significant event and there would be a necessary

adjustment', she told BBC Radio Four's Today programme.

But people should not assume the centres would inevitably result in conflict

locally, she said. Asylum seekers will be leading normal family lives, as

far as possible, she said, 'they will not be rampaging through the

villages'. The centres will also bring jobs to the area.

Ms Hughes said she would be visiting all the areas where centres are

proposed, to talk to local people and discuss how they can be involved with

the centres.

'Unless we can put that case, we'll remain simply divided and it is the

racists and the BNP who'll be able to exploit this issue', she said.

* see LGCnet for 'GOVERNMENT PROMISES ACCOMODATION CENTRES WILL BE ACCESSIBLE' .

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