Kent council admit county is at 'breaking point' in 'strongly worded' Home Office letter

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The letter was sent directly to Home Secretary Suella Braverman and expressed Kent’s grievances about adult asylum dispersal and strategic sites in the area. The 14 council leaders warned that conditions at the Manston migrant processing facility could even lead to unrest.

The Home Office has stressed that it is providing support for local authorities.

In the letter, the council leaders said: “Put simply, Kent is at breaking point.

“Our public services including health social care and schools are already under extreme pressure from surging local demand and the cost-of-living crisis.

“We have approaching 20,000 households on the waiting list for social housing, soaring costs and limited availability of private-rented sector and temporary accommodation, all fuelled by being in the expensive south-east London periphery whilst having pockets of severe deprivation and low average earnings.”

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They added: “The situation at Manston is critical.

“We now have approaching 4,000 service users contained within segregated marquees as we approach the coldest months of the year, some having been on roll mats for over a month.”

On the petrol bomb attack over the weekend, the letter added: “We are deeply concerned about the potential for a further outbreak of disorder and the risk this could pose to both service users and the local community.”

Council chiefs claimed that secondary schools in Canterbury and Ashford have no places for local children in years seven and nine due to the arrival of migrant children.

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A Home Office spokesperson told the BBC: “The number of people arriving in the UK who seek asylum and require accommodation has reached record levels, placing unprecedented pressures on the asylum system.

“The Government is working with all local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland to provide more suitable accommodation for asylum seekers and to end the unacceptable use of hotels, with more than £21million in grant funding already been provided to local authorities to help them respond to challenges in their area.”



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