Edinburgh council is threatening to withdraw from the national
dispersal of asylum seekers programme claiming it has not been
consulted by the home office about plans to set up a detention
centre in the city.
According to the council, the immigration and nationality
directorate of the home office released plans to the media to turn
the former air force base, RAF Turnhouse, into a detention centre
for 750 asylum seekers before consulting the local authority.
Mark Turley, director of housing for Edinburgh council, said
that the announcement in the media “came as some surprise”. Turley
continued: “Apparently, while the local MP had been notified of
this proposal shortly before the press coverage, there had been no
consultation with this local authority.”
Now the council is alarmed at the overall effect on services,
and is threatening to withdraw from the dispersal scheme until
there is full consultation.
The home office refused to comment saying it had not yet
received correspondence from Edinburgh council.