I have been contacted by constituents about Asylum Seeker Accommodation.
As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:
I know that the Government takes the welfare of people in the Home Office’s care extremely seriously and is continuing to fulfil its statutory duties to ensure decent, safe and humane conditions.
As you will be aware, the Home Office is required by law to provide asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, with accommodation. This is paid for by the taxpayer. Whilst you may not agree, I believe that these are vulnerable people and, while they are in the asylum system of the UK, support is necessary for their safety and the safety of the wider community.
Since March 2020, the number of people within the asylum system has risen. This is due to the fact that the Government temporarily ceased ending asylum support for those whose claims have been granted or refused. This was necessary to help stop the spread of coronavirus. It has therefore been necessary for the Government to act quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity and ensure obligations are met in full.
As I am sure you can appreciate, at the height of the pandemic and to ensure asylum seekers were not left destitute, additional accommodation was required at extremely short notice. This accommodation provided asylum seekers a safe and secure place to stay. I welcome the fact that throughout this period, accommodation providers and sub-contractors have made improvements to the site and continue to do so.
After looking into this, I have been reassured that those accommodated at these sites have access to appropriate medical care and have access to the 24/7 Migrant Help helpline to raise any issues.
Please be assured, I will continue to monitor this situation very closely.
It may be of interest to you that there was an Urgent Question in the House of Commons (15/12/21) on Asylum Seeker Accommodation: RAF Manston. The transcript can be