Scotland’s first minister is unhappy with the Home Secretary’s stance on immigration, the assistant director of children’s services at Barnardo’s Scotland said yesterday.
Speaking at a session at Community Care LIVE Scotland in Edinburgh, Ian Turner said there was “clear red water” between Jack McConnell and John Reid on immigration policies.
“I know Jack McConnell would like to be able to distance himself totally from the way Westminster is dealing with these issues,” Turner said.
Turner said the charity’s Glasgow Riverside Project, which works with young people affected by HIV/AIDS, now worked almost exclusively with asylum-seeking children largely from sub Saharan Africa, many of whose applications had failed.
He said that a key worry for them and their parents was the constant threat of deportation, which was often more of an issue for them than their health situation.
Turner added that HIV/AIDS had slipped down the policy agenda in Scotland, and that securing funding for the service was extremely difficult. He said this situation was compounded by Glasgow Council’s continued preference for providing services directly and by the health board’s decision to focus its HIV/AIDS budget on gay men.
“In Glasgow, it is very much about the impact of HIV/AIDS on gay men because that’s where the majority of new diagnoses are at the moment,” he said. “But that means the young people we are working with have slipped even further down the pecking order.”
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