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Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Reports in the media today indicate that the Home Office have agreed not to send any more asylum seekers to Swansea because of the advice of local police and the Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council. It is said that this decision has been taken so as to reassure local communities after the recent alleged murder of an Iraqi Kurd. It seems that there are capacity issues in coping with any additional asylum seekers.

In many ways this raises huge questions about the Government's dispersal policy. In particular whether or not their original promises about locating asylum seekers to areas where there are existing communities and about funding adequate support were met. I believe not. However, my concern as a local politician is to ensure that this decision does not send the wrong signal about Swansea. My home City is not racist nor does it have the sort of racial tensions implied by this story. It is a friendly and ethnically diverse City with a long history of welcoming visitors and refugees. Long may it continue.

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