Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin: Wealthy areas must take their share of refugees

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on the Government to make sure wealthy areas play their part in supporting asylum seekers.

The MP highlighted figures showing that refugees are overwhelmingly concentrated in poorer communities in the North and the Midlands while many wealthy areas in the South take virtually none.

Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the resettlement of refugees, Austin highlighted official figures showing that:

  • Black Country councils have taken in as many asylum seekers as the South West, South East and East put together.
  • Dudley supports nearly half as many asylum seekers as the entire South East.
  • Wealthy communities represented by the Prime Minister and nine other Cabinet Ministers have not taken in a single asylum seeker.
  • There are just 380 asylum seekers in all of the areas represented by the Cabinet – fewer than in places like Wolverhampton or Sandwell.

Austin is calling on the Government to change the way that asylum seekers are distributed throughout the country following David Cameron’s commitment to house another 20,000 Syrian refugees.

The MP also wants to see unspent EU structural funds used in areas like the Black Country that face the biggest pressures on public services, for example to pay for extra primary school teachers and doctors.

Ian Austin said:

“People in Dudley have always played their part in welcoming people fleeing persecution abroad, but it’s about time people elsewhere did the same.

“Refugees are overwhelmingly concentrated in poor communities in the North and the Midlands. Dudley supports nearly half as many asylum seekers as the entire South East but wealthy communities represented by the Prime Minister and nine other Cabinet Ministers haven’t opened their doors to a single refugee.

“The Government must find a fairer way of dispersing people around the country to ease pressure on public services like housing, schools and the NHS in communities like ours.”

  • Please find a full breakdown of asylum seekers by local authority and by Cabinet Minister here.
  • There are as many asylum seekers in the Black Country as in the South West, South East and East put together.
  • Dudley 226, Wolverhampton 645, Sandwell 695, Walsall 234 - total 1,800.
  • South West 809, South East 494, East 540 - total 1,843.
  • The Cabinet have fewer than 389 asylum seekers in their constituencies, less than places like Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

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