Glasgow MP “shocked and deeply concerned” by plans to evict 300 Glasgow asylum seekers

– UK government contractor Serco plan to change the locks on accommodation of vulnerable families, young children and the elderly –

– MP writes to Home Secretary, Chief Executive of Serco and urges affected constituents to get in touch as soon as possible –

A Glasgow MP has said she is “shocked and deeply concerned” by plans by a UK government contractor to evict up to 300 asylum seekers in the city.

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, has written to the Home Secretary and the Chief Executive of Serco, the private firm which houses refugees in Glasgow, urging that this decision be dropped.

Serco has begun a process of mass eviction of asylum seekers refused refugee status – codenamed “Move-on” – going so far as to change the locks on affected properties.

An initial six “lock change notices” will be issued today (Monday 30 July), with the action carried out seven days later (Monday 6 August). A further 12 are due to be served with the same notice next week.

Officials at Glasgow City Council, who are legally prevented from housing people who have had applications for refugee status rejected, and have said they had been given no meaningful warning about the change. They have also said that the city’s voluntary sector will be unprepared for the resulting surge.

Up to 300 people, including families, young children and the elderly, face homelessness as a result.

Monaghan has called this “completely unacceptable” and has urged any constituents affected to contact her as soon as possible. They can do so via:

Telephone: 0141 337 2211
Email: carol.monaghan.mp@parliament.uk

Commenting, Monaghan said:

“I am both shocked and deeply concerned by reports relating to Serco’s plan to evict 300 asylum seekers currently resident in Glasgow, in a decision that could leave many, including families, young children and the elderly, on the streets.

“This is a group of people that have fled war and persecution and are some of the most vulnerable in society. Both Glasgow City Council and charities have worked to assist asylum seekers in our city and I welcome the steps they have taken.

“However, this planned move, taken without any meaningful engagement, will now place unnecessary strain on already stretched resources and, in addition, I understand Glasgow City Council will be prohibited from offering accommodation.

“I have also been made aware that the city’s voluntary sector are, understandably, unprepared for the resulting surge in demand for accommodation.

“Serco have been entrusted with a duty of care and responsibility towards these vulnerable families and individuals – I expect that to be fulfilled. To provide seven days’ notice of eviction is completely unacceptable and places them in a dangerous situation.

“The local community are horrified by this situation, and I have already been contacted by alarmed constituents asking what actions can be taken to support their neighbours.

“I have written to Serco, urging them to reconsider this alarming decision, and I have urged the Home Secretary to personally intervene and demand that they cease their lock change programme.”

Anyone facing destitution can be referred to Room for Refugees for temporary free shelter with their hosts by calling 01413532220. For more info see www.roomforrefugees.com.

Ubuntu Women’s Shelter provides short term accommodation for women with no recourse to public funds. info@ubuntu-glasgow.org.uk

Carol’s letter to the Home Secretary can be read below (text follows the images):

Dear Sajid,

I am both shocked and deeply concerned by reports relating to Serco’s plan to evict 300 asylum seekers currently resident in Glasgow.

This is a group of people that have fled war and persecution and are some of the most vulnerable in society. Both Glasgow City Council and charities have worked to assist asylum seekers in our city and I welcome the steps they have taken. However, this planned move will now place unnecessary strain on already stretched resources and, in addition, I understand Glasgow City Council will be prohibited from offering accommodation. I have also been made aware that the city’s voluntary sector are, understandably, unprepared for the resulting surge in demand for accommodation. There is a very significant possibility that this decision by Serco will leave many, including families, young children and the elderly, on the streets.

My colleagues in Glasgow City Council have not been meaningfully engaged with prior to the announcement. Likewise, I and other elected representatives in the city have not been consulted. Given the significance of this decision, one that will leave 300 vulnerable men, women and children destitute, I find this complete lack of engagement outrageous.

As well as concern amongst myself and other city representatives, the local community are also similarly horrified by this situation. Indeed, I have already been contacted by alarmed constituents asking what actions can be taken to support their neighbours.

Serco have been entrusted by the UK Government with a duty of care and responsibility towards these vulnerable families and individuals – I expect the Government to ensure that Serco are acting in the best interests of the people under their care.

As Home Secretary, I ask that you personally intervene in this case by demanding that Serco cease its lock change programme. I would welcome the opportunity to meet to discuss an appropriate, fair and measured way to assist asylum seekers who have not been given leave to remain and to ensure they are not placed in more vulnerable and dangerous situations.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Carol Monaghan MP

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