Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Nottingham

Plans for more asylum seekers to arrive in Nottingham

Nottingham City Council is developing a plan to cope with “significant numbers” of asylum seekers who could arrive in the East Midlands in the next few months.

The authority says a change in Government policy earlier this year means more asylum decisions will be made before the end of 2023.

The council also expects to find out this week how many asylum seekers are due to arrive in Nottingham.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set a target last year of clearing the backlog of asylum claims by the end of 2023.

According to figures for the end of June 2023, there were 175,457 people awaiting an initial decision on their claim, which is 44 per cent higher than the figure from the previous year.

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These asylum seekers are placed in accommodation across the UK  – usually in hotels.

Nottingham City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board will discuss the plans at its meeting on 27 September.

The authority said that national policy change will result in “significant numbers” being granted asylum by the end of 2023.

They say this will affect the whole UK, not just Nottingham and the exact numbers are currently unknown.

In February the Home Office introduced a new ‘streamlined asylum
processing’ policy, where some people seeking asylum will have to complete a
questionnaire instead of having an interview.

This applied to adults from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen and was later expanded to include some claimants from Iraq, Iran and Sudan.

City Council documents stated: “The new policy will result in a large number of asylum claims being made across the UK by the end of the year.

“This will affect claimants housed in Nottingham and the broader East Midlands region.

“The exact numbers affected locally are unknown as the data provided by the Home Office does not allow accurate predictions to be made.

“Furthermore, it is not known what proportion of those given leave to remain will choose to stay in Nottingham nor how many individuals granted asylum (refugee status) will decide to move to the city.

“We also understand that due to the high numbers granted status on appeal many of those who receive a negative decision will put in an appeal.

“Nationally 70 per of claims are granted, with a further 43 per cent granted on appeal. It is therefore reasonable to assume that significant numbers in the East Midlands will be granted asylum by the end of the year.”

The council said the increase in asylum claims will “create pressure on housing and other local services” in Nottingham.

They said a “large proportion of claimants are single males” which could create demand in the charity sector, and likely result in an increase in homelessness.

“A range of other health and wellbeing issues will also present amongst those granted asylum and this demand will need to be absorbed by local services”, documents stated.

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