Reports last week that local authorities participating in the Dispersal Scheme are considering withdrawing from the Scheme are alarming but perhaps not surprising. Dispersal is a programme run by the UK government to accommodate asylum seekers in locations across the UK on a no-choice basis. Since its implementation at the turn of the Millennium, it has attracted controversy, especially around issues relating to the housing of asylum seekers.
On 29 July 2018, private asylum accommodation provider, Serco, announced that with one day’s notice, they would be changing the locks on up 300 residences occupied by asylum seekers whose applications had been refused by the Home Office. The decision has been met with shock and anger both by Glasgow City Council and by the third sector and community networks that support refugees in Glasgow.