Manchester, News, Politics

Andy Burnham Clashes With Government Over Asylum Seekers

0 169

By Ben Thompson

Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham has condemned the government’s policy on asylum seekers, claiming that a disproportionate amount are being relocated in Manchester compared to other parts of the country.

Burnham recently wrote to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, hoping to organise a meeting to address the ‘blatant disregard’ being shown to the North-West region.

The Manchester Evening News recently reported that one in six Asylum seekers are being housed in Greater Manchester – while 180 other local authorities are housing none at all.

The reason why so many Asylum seekers are housed in Greater Manchester is  because of the government’s dispersal scheme. Started under the previous Labour Government, it sees Asylum seekers being placed in regions outside of the South East, which are  deemed too expensive.

Burnham’s letter was extremely critical of this policy: “Given the enormous pressures your dispersal programme is creating on the public services in this city-region […] I, and the ten council leaders, now need to give serious consideration to actively pursuing Greater Manchester’s withdrawal as a dispersal area.”

Since 2016, more than 42,000 people have sought asylum in the UK. More than 7,000 of them are being housed in Greater Manchester – often in the poorest communities.

Only Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and Glasgow house more Asylum seekers.

It’s the view of Burnham and other council leaders that the responsibility is weighing too heavily on Manchester’s shoulders. Theresa May’s constituency of Maidenhead doesn’t house any Asylum seekers at all – and over 100 other local councils only have Asylum seeker numbers in the single figures.

Jim McMahon, the MP for Oldham West and Royton, has also spoken out against the government, arguing that the task of housing Asylum seekers is left to areas like Oldham while “areas down the road are taking virtually none”.

In response to the criticism, Home Secretary Sajid Javid promised to work on “a more equitable distribution of supported asylum seekers” and vowed to work with other local leaders who had raised concerns.

About the author / 

Ben Thompson

Modern History student. Mostly writes about politics and social issues.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • In Conversation with Get Candid Magazine on Self-Publication and Overcoming Self-Doubt

    Farwa Naseer speaks to founder of Get Candid Magazine Aashi Yadav about what makes zine self-publications so unique. Zines are small-circulation self published work that express creativity and represent marginalised voices in society. Get Candid Magazine is a publication dedicated to empowering Gen Z with “hope and inspiration” and creating a space for positive news….

  • Why Genuine Self-Care is More Important Than Ever

    Farwa Naseer reflects on the significance of taking time out of the day to be present and practice gratitude. With all of the expectations I had set up about the year 2020 being full of joy and achievement, including graduation and a celebratory summer trip away, I was definitely surprised when every plan I had…

  • Album Review: ‘Self Made Man’ by Larkin Poe

    I first became aware of Larkin Poe when they supported Elvis Costello five-years-ago, during his Detour concert at Bridgewater Hall. But it is another elite singer-songwriter who sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell new album has more in common with – Bruce Springsteen. Blue Collar life is much in evidence in the lyrics. “I was a…

  • Supergrass to Play One-Off Virtual Reality Gig at Band On The Wall

    Despite the future of live music still in some form of uncertainty, Goose Island is leading the way by presenting a special broadcast of Supergrass, from Manchester’s Band On The Wall on Friday 21st August, 2020. Band On The Wall has been a long-standing pillar in Manchester’s music scene, making it the perfect setting for the…