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Hansard 26 April: Column 6 ...
Hansard 26 April: Column 6

The government was sensitive about which areas will receive refugees being flown in from the Balkans - and councils should not be hindered in co-operating because of financial worries, home secretary Jack Straw told the commons.

He was replying to Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, who asked what help would be offered to local authorities which will take in a substantial number of refugees soon, for social services, education and housing assistance. All supported and welcomed asylum seekers, but it was extremely difficult for inner-urban local authorities to fund existing services and needed immediate help from central government. They could not wait until the end of the financial year and include assistance given in next year's bids to central government.

Mr Straw replied: 'The Refugee Council and the home office are being sensitive about the areas they are arranging for refugees who are coming in by plane to be received. They are certainly sensitive to the additional pressures faced, especially by some inner-London boroughs. Discussions are in hand with the local authorities, and I have no reason to believe that they need to be hindered by any financial considerations in the co-operation that they wish to offer'.
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