Statement outlining the council’s concerns to the Home Office’s proposal to resettle 397 asylum seekers in Harlow:
“We were made aware by the Home Office at the end of last week that they were considering using new housing in Wych Elm. We understand that nothing has been agreed by the Home Office yet and this is part of them considering options and sites to support asylum seekers.
“Harlow is a welcoming town, but we have serious concerns about the impact such a move of hundreds of people with a range of needs would have on local housing provision and services such as health and education and whether there would be adequate specialist support and funding to help people. Meeting the housing needs of Harlow residents is also a high priority for Harlow Council. Ultimately this would not be Harlow Council’s decision, but we are actively making our feelings and concerns known to the Home Office.
“There needs to be joined up approach across the country where councils and the Home Office work together to find effective solutions. For example, the work which has taken place in recent years where councils have supported a small number of Ukrainian families and Afghan and Syrian refugees to integrate into our communities as part of national resettlement programmes.”