Councils lose out on asylum funds

London councils are collectively facing around a £10m gap in
government funding for their asylum services provided in 2003-4, it
was claimed this week.

The local authorities concerned made “special circumstances bids”
to the government for extra money to the tune of £15m but have
now learned that they have been awarded only £5m.

Meanwhile, Caroline Highwood, an assistant director at Kent’s
social services department, said that her own authority’s shortfall
was around £3.1m for the same period. She said Kent had made a
bid for £3.5m but has been awarded just £377,000. Kent
has also put in a bid for £4.9m for its asylum services for

A Home Office spokesperson insisted that the maximum rates of
special circumstances payments were well established and that local
authorities should have been working within them.

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