A SCOTTISH Conservative-led council is to issue a plea directly to Home Secretary Suella Braverman after receiving no extra funding despite being asked to house hundreds of asylum seekers.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, who is the local MP, will also be written to by the leaders of Dumfries and Galloway Council raising concerns over the ongoing lack of Westminster support.

It comes after SNP councillor Kim Lowe tabled a motion at last week’s full council meeting which underlined how the region is playing its part in giving shelter to asylum seekers, but is bearing the heavy responsibility with no support from Westminster.

It was unanimously agreed that council leader Gail Macgregor would raise the issue with her Conservative bosses.

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It follows on from 57 asylum seekers arriving at the Mercure Hotel on the outskirts of Dumfries last month, having been sent there by the Home Office and its third party agency Mears.

There are now more than 500 asylum seekers – Syrian, Afghan, and Ukrainian – spread across the region. The administration and support provided by Dumfries and Galloway Council has placed strain on its already-stretched social work department.

Lowe argued that councillors must lobby the Westminster Government to compensate Dumfries and Galloway Council so that this extra care for asylum seekers becomes cost neutral.

Speaking at last week’s meeting, she spoke about already-overstretched local services being put under “immeasurable strain”, with staff having to be taken from vital front-line duties to deal with a variety of scenarios.

Councillor Lowe added: “At the end of the year, we have to return a set of balanced accounts. And that is why we are seeking compensation – so that the additional work in respect of the asylum seekers does not jeopardise that position and we can still deliver frontline services to our residents.”

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This was initially seconded by former council leader Stephen Thompson, also SNP, and thereafter supported by all 43 councillors.

Independent councillor Dougie Campbell, a former volunteer case worker with the Scottish Refugee Council, said: “I’m glad that Kim has taken up the torch on this particular occasion. I think it’s a good motion.”

He suggested that the motion be more “precise” and that the council should lobby the UK Home Secretary and MP Alister Jack, rather than simply send a letter to Westminster. This was unanimously agreed.