Friday, 12 November 2010

Glasgow Short Notice Removals

The following messages have been sent to us from our friends at Unity.

The first asylum seeker families are to be moved out of Glasgow City Council accommodation starting as early as Monday next week.

One family has been told they will be moving on Monday. At least two other families have been told they'll also be leaving accommodation provided by the council next week.

On Saturday last week, the 900 plus asylum seeker families who are currently accommodated in housing organised by Glasgow City Council received letters stating that the housing contract from the UK Border Agency to house them had been terminated.

Staff at the Glasgow Asylum Seeker Support Project were told at 3pm on Friday afternoon after their acting head had received the news in an email. The move has taken everyone involved in supporting asylum seekers in Glasgow completely by surprise and came as a shock to many.

It is still not known where families are going to be moved to and the confusion is spreading anxiety and alarm through the asylum seeker community in Glasgow. Earlier today the UKBA press office was suggesting that, in the short term at least, the other current accommodation providers in Glasgow, the YMCA charity and the notorious Angel Group, would take on the contract.

The letters sent out to the tenants however suggest that they could be relocated to anywhere in Scotland.

Now facing significant disruption to their housing - and potentially facing being moved away from established friends and supporters as well as from services such as GPs and social workers - asylum seekers in Glasgow are extremely alarmed and concerned about this sudden news.

Many are concerned about how their children could be affected if they are moved out of established schools.

Many are also worried that they may have to move away from friends and supportive neighbours and community groups, breaking the strong ties that have developed over months and years in communities across the city.

Other concerns have also been raised about the ability of the YMCA and the Angel Group to provide adequate accommodation at such short notice.

Since taking over part of the housing contract in 2006, both the Angel Group and the YMCA, have received criticism over how they have provided accommodation to asylum seekers. The Angel Group, in particular, have had many accusations of providing inadequate housing and its staff giving poor service, made against it.

UNITY is calling for a protest outside of Glasgow City Chambers of everyone concerned about the sudden ending of the housing contract and against the disruption to our communiities and its impact on the lives of our friends and neighbours.

Come to Glasgow City Chambers at 10.30 Monday 15th November to show your opposition to these developments and to call on the UKBA and Glasgow City Council to resolve any difficulties.
Keep the Contract with Glasgow City Council!
Join the Protest:
Monday 15 November
Outside Glasgow City Chambers,
George Square

There's a demonstration taking place on Monday 15th November, 10am, City Chambers, and an online petition here.

The YWCA are already on the case as some of the women who come to the centre are affected by the moves. People have already been sent letters detailing that they can only take 2 pieces of luggage with them and can be given as little as 2 days notice - 'slightly' good news is that we know now they'll stay in Glasgow but plans are to shift the majority into the YMCA towerblock, basically creating a ghetto and still displacing these people from the communities they've grown a part of.
Members, supporters and friends, please do all you can to support these asylum seekers. Sign the online petition, and if you are in the area please join us to protest in Glasgow on Monday morning.

1 comment: