Portsmouth council leader Donna Jones urges Government to restrict number of asylum seekers taken by city

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THE government is being urged to place more controls on the amount of refugees coming into Portsmouth.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, has written to immigrations minister James Brokenshire urging more areas in the south-east be used to take people in as she feels the city is bearing a lot of burden.

She said that from April to June 2015, 124 asylum seekers had been housed in Portsmouth - 43 per cent of the south east total.

It comes after a report to the Tory cabinet earlier this year revealed any increase in Portsmouth’s intake would ‘increase the pressure on already stretched local services’.

The dossier also said Portsmouth was taking a ‘disproportionate’ level of asylum of asylum seekers compared to the other areas in the region.

Cllr Jones said: ‘We have done our fair share now.

‘This is also about the impact on the council. It’s the impact on children’s services, if they require a care worker, if there’s a care order in place, and we have got no primary school places left in the city at the moment. It’s the knock-on effect of providing for these people in our communities.’

In 2000, Portsmouth became one of three designated ‘cluster’ areas in the south of England for the dispersal and accommodation of asylum seekers.

Cluster areas were originally set up in locations across the country, to alleviate pressure on areas where there was already a high level of asylum seekers, such as London.