The reserve power, outlined in the Immigration and Asylum Bill, will only be invoked if the home secretary cannot obtain sufficient voluntary agreement from councils around the country to take the pressure off the south-east.
But the LGA said it was 'potentially the most difficult clause for local authorities. It would be consistent with the secretary of state's reserve powers under this clause if he were also to have reserve powers to give special grants to to cover expenditure'.
The Bill is intended to streamline asylum and immigration services and take the pressure off Kent CC and the London boroughs, which deal with most asylum seekers. New consortia of councils would be formed to do this and be co-ordinated by a single agency, the asylum support directorate.