GLASGOW City Council does not want to take any more asylum seekers from the Home Office until all those in hotels have been moved into suitable homes.

The leader of the council, Susan Aitken, has written to the UK Immigration Minister, Chris Philip with a list of concerns about asylum policy.

Ms Aitken also said that student flats are not acceptable as accommodation either.

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She said: “We reiterate our objection to any suggestion that hotels should become a permanent part of the accommodation mix in the city. Additionally, we do not support the use of student accommodation for the same reasons that we do not support ongoing hotel use. 

“We will continue to support Mears to find suitable accommodation across the city but are not prepared to support that accommodation in those areas in the city which we have restricted.”

Ms Aitken said that current challenges with available accommodation means it cannot be business as usual for asylum seekers being dispersed to Glasgow.

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There is a pause on dispersals just now and the council leader wants that extended until there is no-one still living in a hotel.

It is understood it could take the rest of the year until every one in a hotel is found alternative acommodation.

She added: “It is our view that any dispersal to the city should be paused until the backlog of people staying in hotels is cleared.”

 In the letter, which is also signed by Councillor Jen Layden, the council’s equalities convenor, concerns are raised about the number of asylum seekers in the city who have been refused permission to stay.

Ms Aitken asked for confirmation that all those affected have been told by Home Office officials where they can seek support in the city.

Glasgow Times:

She also called for asylum seekers to be allowed to work to support themselves and said Glasgow was willing to be a pilot city.

She added: “The arguments allowing asylum seekers to work have been made repeatedly and are well founded. We remain keen to support a pilot which would allow asylum seekers in the city to work and to discuss how this can be facilitated.”