Minister accepts Government ‘will address’ Croydon’s asylum-seeker fund after Steve Reed’s question
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has condemned the Government’s decision to slash Croydon’s asylum-seeker fund by £4 million.
Speaking in Parliament from the Labour frontbench during Communities and Local Government Questions, Mr Reed asked ministers to explain what impact they think the cut would have on both Croydon and child refugees.
Minister for Local Government, Mark Francois, accepted that it ‘is one of the issues’ the Prime Minister’s committee on Syrian refugees ‘will address’.
Croydon Council faces a funding gap of £4m as a result of government cuts to a grant intended to support orphaned or separated refugee children.
Questioning the Government, Steve Reed said:
Child refugees orphaned or separated from their parents are arriving in Britain in unprecedented numbers because of the current crisis across the EU, but the Government have chosen to slash funding by 18% for gateway councils, such as Kent, Hillingdon and Croydon, which look after the highest numbers of them. What impact does he think this dreadful decision will have on the councils and, more importantly, the children affected?
You can read the debate here, or watch above.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.