Hillingdon Council loses asylum seeker judicial review

Hillingdon Council yesterday lost its judicial review of the government’s alleged underfunding of services for unaccompanied asylum seeking young people.

The council claims that a lack of government funding left it £5.3m out of pocket for the 2004-5 and 2005-6 financial years but the court found in favour of the Department for Education and Skills.

The local authority had argued that the government had guaranteed the funding but that a policy change had left a gap in its finances. It also said that it was in a unique position because Heathrow Airport is within its boundaries, meaning it looked after high numbers of unaccompanied asylum seekers

Council leader Ray Puddifoot said that he was “extremely disappointed” at the judgement. “Sadly, we can no longer afford these additional costs without cutting services and so regrettably, we have had to add 1 per cent to council tax bills”  he said.

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