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Thursday, 15 September 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Child refugees found wandering on M606 in Bradford

EXCLUSIVE: Child refugees found wandering on M606 in Bradford
EXCLUSIVE: Child refugees found wandering on M606 in Bradford

EXCLUSIVE: Child refugees found wandering on M606 in Bradford

TWO children found wandering alone on the M606 are among the newest and youngest asylum seekers to be taken into Bradford Council’s care, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal.
The youngsters were discovered on the busy motorway on separate occasions three weeks apart.
They are now being looked after in the city as part of an agreement with the Home Office to take on a total of 93 unaccompanied young asylum seekers over the next two years.
Councillor Val Slater, the deputy council leader and executive member for health and well-being, said: “We can’t know for sure how the two children got to the M606 when they did, whether they were dropped off by traffickers directly or had hidden themselves in lorries and jumped out but whatever the means, they are children and, in all conscience, with them having been found so close to our city, we could not ignore them.


“We had to help. It was our moral duty. I hope T&A readers and residents of Bradford will agree with me.”
Jim Hopkinson, the Council’s deputy director of children’s social care, said council chiefs had agreed with the Home Office to take only 16 and 17-year-olds at this time.
The arrivals will be staggered and each child will bring £31,000 each year of Government funding to cover costs.
Mr Hopkinson stressed every single local authority had been asked by the Home Office to take in 0.07 percent of its young population and said: “Bradford will take no more and no less than any other authority.


“It’s voluntary, it was an ask but every local authority has agreed to it.”
Mr Hopkinson also said the £31,000 calculated by the Government was “a fair amount” adding “It should not be an additional burden to Bradford.”
He said: “The council is not worried or fazed about it.
“I’m reasonably confident we can provide a good level of care and services to meet the needs of these young people without any impact on Bradford’s existing services .”



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