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Annual Refugee Cap 2024: too much pressure for local authorities?

The annual refugee cap will be rolled out by the Home Office in January 2025.
Local authorities are being asked to decide on a safe ‘capacity’ for the number of people coming to Britain from overseas (legally).
This move arrives following the government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ bill which seeks to end illegal entry to asylum in the UK.
In a press release, the Home Office said: “Local authorities will be consulted on plans to determine an annual cap on the number of refugees resettled in the UK each year… with a view to the UK taking only as many refugees as local communities can support.”
However, Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association has expressed concern towards the proposal:
“Councils work hard to protect and support refugees and help deliver a wide range of government asylum and resettlement schemes, so it is right that local government is engaged in planning for future resettlement to the UK.
“However, we have raised concerns about councils being asked to commit to numbers of arrivals or propose a cap. It might be difficult for councils to predict potential arrival numbers across both asylum and resettlement and therefore their capacity to support new arrivals and the additional housing needed. Their local communities may also have differing views on and capacity to support new resettlement routes.
“It comes as combined pressures from current asylum and resettlement schemes are already growing on councils. We want to work with government on a new joined-up approach across programmes that takes into account those pressures, grounded in advance notice to councils of any decisions that will impact on their local communities.
“This needs to recognise cumulative pressures on local services, ensure councils are adequately funded and effectively engaged with, and include urgent solutions to pressing housing needs in the short and the long term across all the schemes that welcome new arrivals to the UK.”
Do you work for a local authority? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Get in touch via email at [email protected].
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