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Mrs. Roche: The costs of dealing with asylum seekers' cases are not distinguished separately from the overall operational costs for Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). The total cost of running IND operations over the past seven years is given in the table.
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 541W
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what consultations were held by his Department with (a) North East Lincolnshire and (b) South Humberside before accommodation agents began to purchase property there for the dispersal of asylum seekers; and if he intends to hold such consultations in the future; 
(3) what assessment he makes of the ability of areas to cope with the numbers of asylum seekers he allocates for dispersal to each; and how local authorities and the Health Service are recompensed for additional pressure on their facilities. 
Mrs. Roche: Those who have been granted refugee status are free to live where they choose. National Asylum Support Service (NASS) is responsible only for providing accommodation to asylum seekers who have requested that this be provided as part of a support package. The identification of suitable cluster areas for the dispersal of asylum seekers and their dependants is based on research conducted centrally by NASS. Information is obtained from local authorities and other organisations with an interest in asylum. The presence of asylum seekers already in the area will also be taken into consideration.
In common with the rest of the United Kingdom, before entering into a contract with an accommodation provider to provide housing in Humberside and North East Lincolnshire, NASS consulted the regional consortium to enable the relevant local authority to have an input into the decision making process. NASS has, and will continue to, provide information and advice to regional consortia on a regular basis.
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Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private sector accommodation providers are (a) seeking and (b) purchasing property in North-East Lincolnshire to which asylum seekers can be dispersed. 
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how private sector accommodation providers who are participating in his programme of dispersal of asylum seekers are chosen and vetted; what form of contract they enter into with his Department; what influence he has on the areas in which they acquire accommodation; and how it is inspected and vetted by his Department. 
Mrs. Roche: Each of the private sector contracts was entered into following standard Government Procurement Procedures and a bespoke Government Contract has been used to define the rights and obligations of the contracting parties. All accommodation is acquired within defined Cluster Areas the extent and location of which is agreed between the local authorities concerned and National Asylum Support Service (NASS).
All property provided by the private sector will be inspected by NASS or its consultants within three months of the premises being available for use and in many cases before the bedspaces are occupied. The property is inspected by a combination of surveyors, contract managers and NASS inspectors.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the names and location of the head offices of the accommodation providers with whom he has entered into agreements to disperse asylum seekers and refugees since May 1997. 
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 541W
|Adelphi Hotels||75 Church Road, Hove BN3 2BB|
|Angel Group Limited||Suite 4, Lion Court, 435 The Highway, London E1 9HT|
|Accommodata Limited||44-48 Cromwell Road, London SW5 9QL|
|Capital Accommodation Limited||PO Box 3309, 16 Turnpike Lane, London N8 OPT|
|Clearsprings||26 Brook Road, Brook Road Business Park, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7XL|
|Glasgow City Council||Hamish Allen Centre, 180 Centre Street, Glasgow G5|
|Roselodge Limited||Wembley Point, 1 Harrow Road, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 6DE|
|Safe Haven||Raines Business Centre, Raines House, Denby Dale Road, Wakefield WF1 1HL|
|The Landmark||Conway Street, Liverpool L5 3NH|
|YMCA Glasgow||33 Petershill Drive, Glasgow G21 4QQ|
|Leena Corporation||Premier House, 2nd Floor, 1 Canning Road, Harrow, Wealdstone, Middlesex HA3 7TS|
|North East Consortium||2 Jesmond Road West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PQ|
|Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium||West Yorkshire/Humberside, Thorsby House, 2A Great George Street, Leeds LS2 8BB|
|Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium||West Yorkshire/Humberside, 4th Floor West, Merrion House, Leeds LS2 8BQ|
|Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium||South Yorkshire, 3rd Floor, 18-22 Union Street, Sheffield S1 2JR|
|North West Consortium East Region||Minehead Resource Centre, Minehead Avenue, Withington M20 1FW|
|West Midlands Consortium||Auchinleck House, 7th Floor, Five Ways, Birmingham B15 1DS|
|Northern Ireland Housing Executive||32-33 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BA|
|Cardiff Council||3rd Floor, Marland House, Central Square, Cardiff CF10 1EP|
|East Midlands||The Belvoir Suite, Council Offices, Nottingham Road, Melton Mowbray, Leics LE13|
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 543W
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 543W
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what control he has over where private sector accommodation providers purchasing property for the dispersal of asylum seekers out of the south-east decide to make such purchases; and how he ensures an even spread of purchases rather than a concentration on these parts of the country where house prices are lowest. 
Mrs. Roche: In consultation with local authorities National Asylum Support Service (NASS) has established approximately 70 cluster areas around the United Kingdom. NASS manages the acquisition of property from both public and private sector providers across cluster areas. Providers are required to provide accommodation within these cluster areas. NASS considers each area upon its merits and bases its acquisition of property upon demand and local circumstances.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments per capita are made to private sector accommodation agents for each asylum seeker dispersed from the south-east; and if these payments vary by region. 
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he holds with asylum seekers (a) individually and (b) collectively about dispersal out of the south-east by private sector accommodation providers and where they wish to be dispersed to; what information they are given about areas they are to be dispersed to; and what sanctions are imposed on those who migrate back to the south-east. 
Mrs. Roche: Asylum seekers applying for accommodation as part of an application for support can ask to be located in a particular area. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) will take this information and other information relating to the individual circumstances of an applicant into account in deciding whether dispersal is appropriate and, if so, the most appropriate location. The
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 544W
asylum seekers will be given a written offer of the support package and before travel will be briefed by the voluntary sector about the arrangements for travel.
An asylum seeker can apply to NASS to change the support package from subsistence and accommodation to subsistence only. But if they do this they have to find and pay for their accommodation themselves.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the total cost to his Department of arrangements made with private sector accommodation providers to disperse asylum seekers and refugees in the last five years. 
Support for asylum seekers is currently provided either via social security benefits including Housing Benefit, or by local authorities under the interim scheme or since 3 April 2000 directly by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). The amounts paid to private sector providers on behalf of asylum seekers on social security benefits and by local authorities on behalf of asylum seekers supported under the interim scheme are not known.
The National Asylum Support Service began operation on the 3 April 2000 and the amount paid to private sector accommodation providers by the NASS in the period 3 April 2000 to the 31 March 2001 was £46 million.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for asylum were received from (a) Ethiopia and (b) Eritrea; how many and what percentage of these were initially accepted; how many and what percentage of those rejected went to appeal; and how many and what percentage of those appeals were successful in each of the last five years. 
|Granted of asylum or exceptional leave to remain (ELR)||Granted ELR under backlog criteria(32),(33)|
|Applications for asylum||Total initial decisions||Total||Percentage of initial decisions||Total||Percentage of initial decisions|
(32) Cases decided under pragmatic measures aimed at reducing the pre-1996 asylum application backlog.
(33) Includes cases where asylum or exception leave has been granted under the backlog criteria.
(34) May exclude some cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices between January 1999 and March 2000
(35) Data for years 1999 and 2000 are provisional.
(36) Cases considered under normal procedures may include some cases decided under the backlog criteria.
(37) Decision figures, by nationality, only available for the period April to December 2000.
1. Figures other than percentages are rounded to nearest five.
2. Decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same period and exclude the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 545W
30 Apr 2001 : Column: 545W
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