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GOVERNMENT U TURN ON ASYLUM SEEKERS WELCOMED BY LIB DEMS

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The government's moves to scrap its current dispersal and voucher programme for asylum seekers* has been welcomed b...
The government's moves to scrap its current dispersal and voucher programme for asylum seekers* has been welcomed by the Liberal Democrats.

LGA housing executive deputy chair Richard Kemp said: 'When the government introduced its legislation Liberal Democrats in parliament and in council chambers up and down the country said it would not work now we have been proved right in a massive style. This announcement of the abolition of the system just 18 months after its introduction shows that the government should have listened to us and the whole of the voluntary sector with whom we worked in opposing the legislation.

'In cities like Liverpool major problems have been caused by the dumping of people in unsatisfactory accommodation, in the wrong areas, with often the wrong landlords. The voucher system where it cost 60p for every pound distributed was both highly inefficient and degrading to asylum seekers in operation. We must now hope that when the government introduces its new proposals for asylum seekers they will not make the mistakes of the past. They should listen to local government and work with local councils in the establishment and management of the proposed reception centres. I am sure that local government as a whole is still prepared to act as the partner to Government despite the way we have been treated over this issue in the past two years', Cllr Kemp said.

Next Tuesday, Cllr Kemp will meet immigration minister Lord Rooker at the home office. He will ask for immediate closure of the two notorious tower blocks in Everton, the repayment of£130,000 for abortive work owed to Liverpool City Council and immediate assistance for other communities and councils where asylum seekers have been placed.

* for full details see LGCnet.

NOTE

As well as his LGA position Cllr Kemp is the executive member for housing, neighbourhoods & community safety in Liverpool.

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