The city to bid for fresh contract from the UK Border Agency
4th December 2009: Asylum seekers, awaiting a decision on their cases by the Home Office, are still welcome in Wearside.
The conurbation in North East England has made clear its intentions of continuing with the process of providing a home to asylum seekers trying to get away from war and political oppression.
The city has a contract for delivering services to asylum seekers as part of the North East Authorities Contracting Consortium for Asylum Seekers (NECCAS).
The present contract is to come to an end in 2011. But senior councillors have asserted they are in favour of Sunderland remaining a part of NECCAS and bid for a fresh contract from the UK Border Agency.
Councillor Henry Trueman, cabinet member for Sustainable Communities, was of the opinion asylum seekers already living in the city would face disruption to their accommodation and support services, if Wearside failed to take part in the contracting process for 2011.
Referred to as the City of Sunderland, it is a home to 242 asylum seekers, 62 single people and 180 family members. According to the available information, they have applied for refugee status, but are awaiting a decision on their cases by the Home Office.
The city first started accommodating asylum seekers in 2000, when the Government changed its asylum system; and it works with a partner to help with accommodation, support and other services.