Proposals to drive out from Palingswick House charities supporting refugees under fire

Some of these voluntary-led organisations were providing refugees with training

20th January 2011: The proposals to drive out organisations supporting `some of the most vulnerable people in the society’ from Palingswick House in Hammersmith have evoked a sharp response.
Some of these voluntary-led organisations were providing refugees with facilities like language courses and employment training.

In a letter to the Guardian, Chief executive, Refugee Council, Donna Covey has described the move as deplorable.

She was reacting to a report carried on 18th January. Covey has asserted the organisations are to be moved out so that they can be replaced by one of the government’s flagship free schools.

Covey in the letter has asserted The Refugee Council has since long been supporting the organisations there, as these have provided crucial services for more than quarter of a century.

She has asserted the proposals will not only seriously affect refugees relying on these voluntary-led organisations for language courses and employment training, they will also be detrimental to the local area.

Covey says they will add pressure on other local services to fill this gap, and in the process hamper the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the community.

The letter says: `It is ironic that the Conservative-led local authority would decimate such a fine example of the government’s big society – a place that brings communities together under one roof in order to promote community cohesion.

Read more on the issue from the point of view of migrants: commentary by 
Janusz Młynarski, The Polish Observer:

‘Throw out the immigrant with the bathwater’: Hammersmith and Fulham council’s plan


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