Asylum seekers to be sent to rural areas
Asylum seekers are to be sent to rural areas in an effort by the Home Office to apparently secure a fairer distribution of migrants around the country.
In face of complaints by MPs that some areas have had to house a disproportionate number in local hotels and other accommodation, ministers are looking to provide places in a far broader range of local authority areas.
Most of the 200-plus hotels being used to accommodate 37,000 migrants are in city or town centres or residential areas and have been block-booked by the Home Office. It includes a cluster of 20 in the West Midlands, housing hundreds of migrant guests.
Figures show that half of the 120,000 asylum seekers are housed in just 25 local authority areas, equivalent to only six per cent of the 374 councils in England and Wales.
Ministers are working on a new system that reveals where migrants are being placed in real time, how long they have been there, who they are and their needs in order to avoid asylum seekers being placed in unsuitable accommodation.