Croydon Council has challenged a Government decision to award the borough just under two per cent of a national fund to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) – when the council looks after the second highest number in the UK.
A key ‘gateway’ authority due to the location of the UK Home Office in the town centre, the council has accommodated more than 4,800 UASC in the last 10 years.
Yet despite this the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has awarded Croydon Council just £370,000, less than two per cent of the £19m the Controlling Migration Fund has committed to councils who care for UASC.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
“We are absolutely astonished and very disappointed by Croydon’s allocation from the Government. We look after almost 10 per cent of the unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK, yet are getting less than two per cent of funding. 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.
“Croydon is extremely proud of its long track record in welcoming and caring for these vulnerable young people. But if like us, the Government truly wants them to integrate and thrive in our local communities, it needs to step up and provide the funding for councils to support them. Croydon taxpayers simply cannot be expected to foot the bill for over £3m annually in direct costs of being a gateway borough when this is a national issue.
”We welcome the Government’s decision to make this funding available for these young people but Croydon’s allocation is completely unacceptable. As these allocations are at draft stage we are asking them to re-consider.”