Extra £180,000 to cope with rise in child asylum seekers in Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council. Picture: Cesar Moreno Huerta
Portsmouth City Council. Picture: Cesar Moreno Huerta
Bethany Kelly, left, and Dani Hackett behind the bar at Beerex in 2016' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160551-3)

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EXTRA cash is being pumped into supporting a rising number of child asylum seekers coming to Portsmouth.

As part of a national funding scheme the council will receive a top-up of £188,126 to continue providing for unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Portsmouth.

Figures show that between April 2016 and March 2017, 39 children came to the city via ferries from Spain and France. In the following eight months 60 more arrived.

There was concern that these numbers would continue to grow, putting a strain on council resources. A £2.3m national government grant has been set up to combat this.

Cllr Ryan Brent, cabinet member for children and families, said: ‘We welcome the additional £188,126 funding from government.

‘It will help to alleviate some of the pressure on our children’s social care service and pay for some of the additional staff and resources needed to be able to safeguard the wellbeing of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Portsmouth.’

The city council was previously allocated some cash.