Serco to pause eviction of asylum seekers

Housing provider, Serco, has declared it will pause its plans to change the locks on the houses of 330 refugees who were refused asylum and are currently living in Glasgow.

After the news of the contractor’s orders to evict refugees from their homes following a seven-day notice, there was an outcry from officials and the public throughout Scotland.

The news sparked fury for many, resulting in hundreds of campaigners holding protests outside Buchanan Galleries and the Home Office. Glasgow City Council also launched a task force that will work with Third Sector parties and legal charities in a bid to support those affected by the lock change.

Serco argued that they have been providing free housing for refugees with no right to stay in the UK and that the accommodation provided was temporary. Though the housing provider has plans to evict these former asylum seekers, they had only sent out letters of the lock change to six houses before the public outcry.

In a statement, Serco explained they would halt their plans until ongoing court action had clarified its position: "In order to facilitate the path of a legal adjudication, Serco will extend the notice period by 21 days for the six people currently subject to lock-change notices.”

The Chief Executive of Serco, Rupert Soames, added: “We will also pause all further lock-change notices to other asylum seekers who have received negative decisions while the law is being tested and clarified.”

“We commit that we will work energetically with Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government, charities and the Home Office to ease the path of people as they move on at the end of their adjudication process.”

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