Martin Ford 26 May 2020

Kent leader warns of migrant crossing ‘crisis’

Kent leader warns of migrant crossing ‘crisis’ image

The leader of Kent CC, Cllr Roger Gough, has asked Home Secretary Priti Patel to make it mandatory for authorities to provide support for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

He has also appealed for increased funding for care leavers as he warned Kent’s children’s services ‘have run out of road’.

In a letter to the home secretary, Cllr Gough said Kent had seen 178 new arrivals since January, almost all crossing the Channel in small boats.

The figures are close to the peak levels last witnessed in 2015, when the county council was all but overwhelmed, prompting the creation of the national transfer scheme.

He has asked for the voluntary scheme, in which authorities elsewhere in England take in UASC, to be made compulsory and for the Government to provide ‘sufficient funding’ for care leavers.

Cllr Gough wrote: ‘We are at a point now where it is your immediate intervention that can prevent a crisis escalating into something unmanageable and unsafe for children.

‘We need a national solution to this national problem.’

He said that although funding had been increased for cared-for children, a lack of funds to support care leavers remained a barrier to councils coming forward to taking in UASC.

Cllr Gough added: ‘I stand ready, as does the county council, to assist in any way we can with that endeavour, but we cannot continue to shoulder this responsibility alone and without your help.’

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: ‘The government takes the welfare of unaccompanied children very seriously and provides funding to local authorities, including Kent, as a contribution to the cost of supporting unaccompanied children and those who leave care. This funding was significantly increased in May 2019.

‘The ruthless criminal gangs behind illegally-facilitated small boat crossings put people’s lives in grave danger and we are working closely with all our partners to dismantle this illegal trade and bring people smugglers to justice.’

A chance to speak as one image

A chance to speak as one

Community power is gaining momentum across the public sector, says Adam Lent. In advance of New Local’s ‘Stronger Things’ event in March, he outlines why it’s time to build a united voice for change.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Part Time Residential Worker - The Maples

Essex County Council
£20604 - £26801 per annum
Part Time Residential Worker - The MaplesPermanent, Part Time£20,604 to £26,801 per annum pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Workforce Development Lead

Essex County Council
£30906 - £39168 per annum
Job Purpose Essex County Council (ECC) is achieving transformational change across Adult Social Care and Children and Families Services, underpinned b England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Environment

Doncaster Council
We are looking for a strategic and resilient leader to become our next Assistant Director of Environment here in Doncaster. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Doncaster Council

Interim Finance Transformation Lead

Tile Hill
£700-800 per day outside IR35
Our local authority client in the midlands is looking for an interim with a finance background as part of an improvement journey to review and resh... West Midlands
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Assistant Director Children's Commissioning

Tile Hill
£800-900 per day inside IR35
An interim Assistant Director of Children's Commissioning is needed for one of our local authority clients.  West Midlands
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue