HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c234W
Mr. Malin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what decision has been made regarding increased funding for local authorities affected by the Hillingdon judgment of 2003; and if he will make a statement; [153014]

(2) how much extra funding has been (a) earmarked for and (b) paid (i) to each local authority which has a UK port or airport and (ii) specifically in respect of (A) Heathrow airport, (B) Gatwick airport, (C) Stansted airport and (D) the ports of Dover and Folkestone following the Hillingdon judgment of 2003. [153015]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 5 February 2004]: The Hillingdon judgment mainly concerns the availability of leaving care services for former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who have turned 18. Funding for leaving care services is provided by the Department for Education and Skills. My right hon. friend, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced on 19 November 2003 that an additional £10 million would be made available from 2004–05 to top up the existing funding for care leavers.

The Home Office provides funding for the support of unaccompanied asylum seeking children aged under 18 through an annual grant to local authorities. The unit cost rates for 2003–04 were announced in a letter from the Director of NASS to local authorities on 15 January. For those aged 16 and 17 the rate is £300 per child per week. This represents a 15 per cent. increase over the previous year. For those aged 15 and under the rate is £670 per child per week, an increase of 17 per cent.

The arrangements announced on 15 January also allow for authorities who believe they have incurred significant additional costs to seek to have their level of grant considered under special circumstances arrangements. It is not possible to specify the amounts any authority will receive until these processes are complete. I would expect authorities receiving higher numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, for example those with major air or sea ports in their area, to seek additional funding under these arrangements.

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