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Glasgow Council Leader Meets UK Immigration Minister

The Leader of Glasgow City Council today met Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes and called for an end to the UK Government’s controversial asylum seekers’ lock changing policy.

Statement below

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We had a constructive meeting which followed previous conversations between myself and the Minister and ongoing engagement between Glasgow City Council and Home Office officials.

“The City Government has significant differences with the UK Government on wider asylum issues, but today was focused on the implications of the lock changing policy, and on wider operational matters in relation to the dispersal programme.

“While it is helpful that Serco has paused the lock change programme, what we are seeking is an end to lock changing regardless of the outcome of any imminent court actions.

“Until then there are other changes the Home Office can make and we also discussed the need for protocols for sharing data on those seeking asylum and where they are in the process. There is currently little clarity about the actual status of the 330 people affected, therefore it is essential that Glasgow City Council has the time and opportunity to carry out individual assessments for all of them and ensure that everyone gets the right support and outcome for their circumstances.

“The Minister agreed this was necessary and her officers have committed to engaging constructively with us to ensure this is put in place.

“Ms Nokes and her officials have been left in no doubt that lock changes and evictions are not good for anyone, and do not have support within the city. Whilst she was unable to give a guarantee that they would not continue, we have made significant progress. However we will continue to join with partners across the city to campaign for this policy to be changed.”