Kent Council says it cannot take any more child refugees without help from the government

More than 4,300 refugees are thought to have crossed the Channel in small boats between January and August this year. image: Twitter

Kent County Council has said it cannot safely look after any more child refugees and asks other local authorities to step in to help.

THE council gave notice that it was close to full capacity on Friday, it made an announcement on Monday where it called for participation in the national transfer scheme to be made mandatory.

It comes after a massive surge in people arriving into the UK over summer made the precarious journey across the Channel from France. More than 400 children, most of whom are arriving in Dover across the English Channel by small boat, have entered the authority’s care so far this year. The responsibility lies across England, the council says, while the government insists that the authority has had extra support it needs.

“I am deeply disappointed and concerned that, despite our many efforts to avoid this unthinkable situation, it has been necessary to make this announcement today,” council leader Roger Gough said.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is an unprecedented situation and we have been working incredibly closely with Kent County Council to urgently address their concerns.

“We continue to provide Kent County Council with a high level of support, such as significantly increasing funding and reducing pressure on their services through a national transfer scheme.

“We are also providing extra support with children’s services and we continue to work across the local government network on their provision for unaccompanied minors.”

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Tony Winterburn

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