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Asylum Seeker Dispersal Arrangements

Syrian Refugees will be dispersed under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) Scheme. This scheme prioritises help for survivors of torture and violence, women and children at risk, and those in need of medical care. The United Kingdom Government works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to identify suitable cases.

Asylum claims in the United Kingdom are processed by the Home Office’s UK Visa and Immigration Division.

While an Asylum Claim is being processed the individual seeking asylum (the Asylum Seeker) receives support under arrangements set out by UK Visa and Immigration; this includes legal aid, accommodation and financial support.

Accommodation may be provided through one of the UK’s Immigration Removal Centres, or through controlled housing agreements under the Asylum Seeker Dispersal Arrangements. In the North West of England, including St.Helens, dispersal arrangements are facilitated by a specialist housing provider, Serco.

Commitment to the St.Helens Community

St Helens Council aims to ensure local services are not overburdened by refugee relocation or asylum seekers dispersal into the Borough. This will be achieved by:

  • Not accepting any more asylum seekers than set out in Government quotas
  • Securing the cooperation of housing providers, Serco and the Home Office in ensuring the distribution of asylum seekers is managed and that no one community is overly burdened, particularly communities with high levels of deprivation, and
  • Supporting Merseyside Police in responding to any criminal, fraudulent or anti-social behaviour.

Commitment to Asylum Seekers and Refugees

St.Helens Council aims to ensure Asylum Seekers and Refugees are supported whilst settling into the Borough community and receive appropriate access to local services. This will be achieved by:

  • Creating and maintaining locally co-ordinated arrangements to support effective dispersal to a home that meets local housing standards
  • Supporting the Merseyside Police to respond to hate crime or anti-social behaviour and with measures to promote social cohesion.
  • Maintaining pages on its website to signpost asylum seekers and refugees to guidance, support and advice services

Locally Coordinated Asylum Seeker Dispersal Arrangements and the Responsible Bodies

  • Assessment of Asylum Claim - UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI)
  • Identification of potential properties - Serco
  • Checking suitability of property - St.Helens Council / Merseyside Police / St.Helens Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Placing of Asylum Seeker in suitable property - Serco
  • Provision of housing and welfare support - Serco
  • Provision of Refugee resettlement support - Refugee Action
  • Provision of Health Care - NHS Services
  • Provision of Education for Asylum Seeker families with children - St.Helens Schools
  • Supporting asylum seekers with opportunities to volunteer within the Community - Faith, Voluntary and Community Sector

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