EXCLUSIVE: Councils offered second chance to claim housing cash
Civil servants have issued a last-minute invitation for councils to claim cash from a fund that has suffered from poor take up by local authorities.
Homelessness is piling pressure on squeezed council budgets. The MJ and the National Audit Office teamed up to bring council chief executives and senior managers together in Manchester to get under the skin of the issue. Paul Marinko reports.
New legal bid as long-term asylum site plans confirmed
A council has launched a fresh judicial review after Government confirmed its intention to use RAF Scampton to house asylum seekers for another three years.
Braintree hits out as Home Office extends use of asylum centre
Braintree DC has accused the Home Office of acting ‘against the spirit of national planning policy’ by using a Special Development Order (SDO) to extend use of a controversial asylum centre.
Warnings over exemption from standards for asylum housing
Exempting asylum accommodation from “Awaab’s Law” risks more deaths due to poor housing conditions, experts have warned.
Council confirms asylum centre appeal
West Lindsey DC is to appeal against the dismissal of its judicial review over the Home Office’s asylum centre plans.
Barge death concerns
Concerns over conditions inside some asylum accommodation intensified this week, after the death of an asylum seeker onboard the controversial Bibby Stockholm barge.
The more things change
Funding and asylum policy are just two of the themes that have bookended an eventful year in local government. Martin Ford and Ann McGauran look at some of the big developments and talking points from the year as the sector braces for 2024.
The asylum mess needs cleaning up
'The current conditions in some asylum hotels make the prospect of Rwanda look like a soft option', says Heather Jameson. 'Hounslow has been heroic in highlighting the problems local staff have seen.'
Lincs district considers asylum ruling appeal
West Lindsey DC is likely to appeal a High Court decision to allow the Home Office to place an asylum centre on a former military base earmarked for a £300m regeneration project.
Gove in 'crying wolf' claim
Local government secretary Michael Gove has claimed some people in the sector have ‘been crying wolf’ on finances.
Councils demand control over asylum contracting
The Home Office has defended its asylum contracting amid calls to devolve management or oversight to councils.
Damning reality of asylum
Shocking public health report by Hounslow LBC exposes bleak conditions as councils urge Home Office and contractors to improve
Home Office admits 'more we can and need to do'
More needs to be done to share data and improve communications with councils, Home Office mandarins have admitted.
NCASC: Government must make 'some difficult decisions' on children's services
The Government must make ‘some difficult decisions’ if it is ‘not able or willing’ to provide funding to meet the financial pressures in children’s services, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has said.
Thousands of refugees face homelessness at Christmas, LGA warns
The Government’s push to clear the asylum backlog is putting ‘tens of thousands’ of refugees at risk of homelessness over Christmas, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
EXCLUSIVE: Asylum seeker dispersal only reaches 60% mark
The Home Office’s Full Dispersal policy of placing asylum seekers across all UK regions has delivered just 60% of Whitehall’s target and ministers have asked councils to propose solutions.
Councils brace as Supreme Court outlaws Rwanda asylum plan
The Supreme Court has ruled the UK’s controversial proposal to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful – a decision likely to impact local government.
Housing minister among casualties of Sunak reshuffle
The UK will have its 16th housing minister in 12 years after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s sweeping reshuffle affected the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Port in a storm
Carralyn Parkes writes exclusively for The MJ on why she is reluctantly making a claim against Dorset Council for not enforcing planning law on asylum-seeker barge, the Bibby Stockholm.