ASHA NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE URGES SUPPORTERS TO WRITE TO THE HOME SECRETARY AND TO THEIR MP CONCERNED ASYLUM SEEKERS BEING REQUIRED TO REPORT IN SALFORD August 2018
There are around 950-1000 asylum seekers in the City and until now a large number have been required to report regularly to a local reporting centre. Without warning the centre has been closed and asylum seekers must travel to Salford to report. For many this will mean a journey of several miles to Stoke Station to get a train to Manchester and another to Salford, often for a reporting time of 10.00 am.
An individual’s weekly allowance is £37.75 and some may not have enough money on their card to buy tickets. Moreover, there is little certainty that the travel cost of approximately £21 will be quickly reimbursed which may well result in many going hungry.
It matters to an asylum seeker to maintain a perfect reporting record because failure to do so will jeopardise their application for asylum.
Please write to the Home Secretary (Office of Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF) and to your MP to protest this Ill-considered decision and urge that the Stoke-on-Trent Reporting Centre be reinstated without delay
EXAMPLES OF EXPERIENCE OF REPORTING TO OTHER ASYLUM REPORT CENTRES
Central BristolChris and Gwyn Gwyntopher [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The reporting centre in central Bristol was moved to Patchway out on the northern fringes of the city. It is hard to get there for anyone placed in south Bristol. Not a bad as north Nottingham to Loughborough however. Bristol City of Sanctuary are fund raising to pay bus fares for those not on NAAS support.
Nottingham/Derby/Leicester Sheila Mosley <email@example.com
They rationalised reporting services in our area a long time ago such that everyone from Nottingham, Derby and Leicester area have to report at Loughborough. They said no-one should travel for more than 15 miles.
PortsmouthMichael Woolley <firstname.lastname@example.org
The Reporting Centre in Portsmouth was closed some time ago and everyone made to report in Fareham. There are 200 dispersed asylum seekers in Portsmouth, none in Fareham. The Border Agency has an office in Portsmouth but not in Fareham, it’s a nine mile journey which inconveniences everybody and costs over £5 return on the bus. After protest the Border Agency started providing bus passes but not for people making fresh claims or freshly arrived in the city (though they are expected to report). Friends without Borders pay these fares at the cost of £100 to £125 a month. We have protested but to no effect. (ASHA
Birmingham and Coventry report to Solihull
CASE STUDY of Asylum Seeker experience reporting to Salford 2018 on 28 August
It took a full day for SM to report to the Salford Centre. She had been there before and thought she knew the way. Her journey from Stoke-on-Trent to Salford was as follows:
9am leave home for train station
11.30 am arrive at Reporting Centre. Join long waiting queue
2.30 Leave Centre
SM had been given a bus ticket on her previous visit but returning to Manchester Piccadilly Station required two buses. She mistakenly got on the wrong bus and had to rely on advice from strangers who were helpful.
7.00pm Finally arrived back in Stoke-on-Trent
Comment What would have happened if SM had children to pick up from school or nursery?