Initial asylum applications are to be made in Croydon
1st December 2009: Croydon cannot expect much extra money for dealing with the increase in asylum seekers coming into the borough, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has made it.
The Home Office only recently had declared it would no longer be possible for initial asylum applications to be made in Liverpool; and anyone wishing to make an initial asylum application in country would be required to do so in person at the asylum screening unit in Croydon.
Even as over 3,500 extra asylum seekers are expected to visit Croydon each year after the declaration to make it the only site for walk-in applications, Johnson said the Government would not be giving Croydon much extra money.
Speaking to the Croydon Guardian at the annual Labour fundraising dinner, Johnson said he would first see observe the working of the new system before providing extra funding, while asserting Croydon would not be getting much extra.
It is believed the decision to make all walk-in asylum applicants visit Croydon will cost the council an extra £8m.
The council’s lead member for safety and cohesion, Gavin Barwell, said the £30m funding provided by the Government was £3m short of the actual cost to Croydon Council, while additional indirect costs, such as providing education for asylum seekers’ children, amounted to an extra £5m.