A £1million Government scheme to help failed asylum seekers return home resulted in just one family leaving the UK.That sounds about right, frankly…
A scathing report from the Children's Society says the scheme, which ran for less than a year, failed because government officials did not seem to know what it was for or how to run it.
A centre run by the charity Migrant Helpline was supposed to process 260 families in a year but in reality it dealt with only 13 - only one of which was returned to its native country.Hmm, I suspect this project succeeded in at least one of its objectives then.
Set up in November 2007, the centre did not take in anyone until January last year and it was closed down a month before its planned 12-month span.
That one being to ensure a nice (if short lasting) sinecure for somebody.
And yes, as Mark Wadsworth points out, it’s yet another fakecharity.
Lisa Nandy of the Children's Society said: 'The project was mismanaged from start to finish. The money would have been well spent - it's just a real scandal that the opportunity was missed.You wouldn’t think anything complicated was needed, would you?
'Unfortunately when the UK Border Agency set the project up they had no clear objectives or evaluation criteria so they didn't know actually what it was they were trying to achieve.'
I mean, ‘assist illegal families to vacate the country’. It’s not rocket science…
'There was a substantial amount of confusion, even among UK Border Agency officials themselves about what the pilot was intended to achieve. Many people didn't actually know about the pilot.'Could that possibly be because the UK Border Agency is yet another example (as with the disastrous merger of HM Customs and the Inland Revenue) of Gordon Brown’s idea of decision-making, whereby a new department is cobbled together like some Frankensteinian monster and then set free to wander, leaderless, sowing destruction and confusion in its wake?
Rather than look at why the existing departments aren’t working, and doing the necessary work to get them back on track?
The chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz said the pilot had been 'a waste of money' because it was applied to families who had been in the UK waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for as long as 10 years, rather than intervening earlier in the process.And how come we have people waiting 10 years to be kicked out?
Shouldn’t that be tackled in the first place, before we start looking at ‘assistance’ for the others?
Migrant Helpline insisted today that the Kent project had not been a waste of time.But surely this project will never be repeated?
'There was a huge amount of learning that came out of that pilot and we hope that learning will be put to good use,' said deputy chief executive Roy Millard.
I mean, who on earth would allow them to waste another £1 million by trying agai…
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: 'Keeping families out of detention remains a priority.Fantastic…
He told BBC News that a new project in Glasgow was 'building on what we learnt from our experiences in Kent'.