Review of dispersal system is ordered

Home secretary David Blunkett has ordered a “swift, in-house”
review into the National Asylum Support Service’s ( Nass) operation
of the dispersal system.

A Home Office spokesperson said the review was prompted by
Blunkett’s concerns over relationships between the regional
consortia and Nass.

He told Community Care: “The home secretary has himself
ordered the swift, in-house review on how dispersal operates on the
ground. It is not a review of the principle of dispersal.”

He stressed that the review was completely separate to the Home
Office’s review of the vouchers scheme for asylum seekers. The Home
Office has not made a decision on the exact length of the new
internal review or whether its findings will be made public. It has
appointed a new head of Nass to oversee the review and, if
necessary, to install a new management team.

The move follows last week’s murder of the Turkish Kurd asylum
seeker Firsat Yildiz in the Sighthill area of Glasgow. Glasgow
Council responded this week with the appointment of its former
policy adviser Dawn Corbett as co-ordinator of all services to
asylum seekers.

The council also announced a package of services to all
residents in Sighthill including a local co-ordinating group, a new
drop-in centre, extra concierge staff to improve security, and a
guarantee of monthly visits to each asylum seeker by support
workers. Plans to move further asylum seekers into the area were

Meanwhile, the Scottish executive’s deputy minister for
community care Malcolm Chisholm responded to the scenes of unrest
in Glasgow this week with a call for the scrapping of the “negative
and stigmatising” voucher scheme for asylum seekers.

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