Making the Case - Advice Support for Migrant Communities.

 

We need your feedback

At the March Hastings Community Network event, members of HCN heard Marc Turczanski of the Link Project and Jo Swaney of the Brighton Housing Trust.They flagged up what they saw as a potentially difficult situation for the town arising in the future with regards to migrant communities and asylum seekers.

 

The funding for the Migrant Helpline service has been significantly cut and as a result, from the 1st April 2011 it will be offering an outreach service only, which will be once a week and without a permanent office based in the town. This raises a number of concerns but most importantly that in a town used by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) for dispersal, there will be no asylum specific services.

 

The Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) are accredited to give general immigration advice but their capacity is also reducing becauseof the funding.This raises a number of concerns but most importantly that in a town used by the (UKBA) for dispersal, there will be no asylum specific services, creating a potential cohesion issue.

 

What HCN members can do: Community and voluntary groups are quite likely to be at the front line of any increased demand for advice services and so at the event, groups agreed that it would be useful to record and collate footfall so that evidence can be provided of the demand.

 

HVA have therefore developed a simple proforma (attached below) which will log enquiries and be collated by one agency. We are asking people to download, publicise and use the form any time people in your org are approached by this community for help or advice.

 

Julie Eason from East Sussex Advice Plus will collate the information which will be put to good use when lobbying for further resources for this area.

 

Whatever your view of asylum and migrant communities there is no good argument for doing nothing as people will just become more desperate with likely dire consequences.

 

Representation on this issue is being made to the Borough, the County and the Local Strategic Partnership. We ask that you spread the word, download the proforma, ask people to read the full article on page three of Hastings Community News (May 2011 edition) and send your completed log forms to: Julie@esap.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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