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Gateway borough leader 'absolutely astonished' over child asylum funds

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Croydon LBC’s leader is “absolutely astonished” after his council received 2% of a national fund to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children, despite looking after 10% of the overall number in the UK.

tony newman

tony newman

Tony Newman

Tony Newman (Lab) said the formula used by the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) for allocating money from the £19m controlling migration fund does not reflect the burden felt by councils and has asked for Croydon’s draft allocation of £370,000 to be reconsidered.

Croydon is categorised as a “gateway” area, due to the location of the UK Home Office in the town, and it has accommodated more than 4,800 children in the last decade. This is the second largest number in the country, with an annual cost of more than £3m.

Housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid announced this month that councils would now receive a total of £28.9m in 2018-19, including an extra £9m allocated to specific projects from the fund and a further £10m shared between councils currently supporting more than 10 asylum seeking children.

Cllr Newman said: “We are absolutely astonished and very disappointed by Croydon’s allocation from the government.

“The funding formula they have applied appears to be very basic and in no way does it represent a fair way of reflecting the burden faced by local authorities.”

Cllr Newman added that the council is “extremely proud” of caring for vulnerable young people but said the government should not expect Croydon taxpayers to cover the costs.

MHCLG has been approached for comment.

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