COUNCILS will be urged to take migrant children who have arrived in the UK without any parents or guardians.

A voluntary scheme is now going to be compulsory, meaning youngsters being looked after by authorities on England’s south coast will be moved to other parts of the country.

The Home Office will send more than 200 councils a letter giving them two weeks to present reasons why they should not accept them.

Read more: Councils and charities prepare to help house Afghan refugees

Newcastle City Council Leader and Chairman of Asylum, Migration and Refugee Task Group Cllr Nick Forbes called on the Government for a fairer system.

He said: “I hope this mandatory system will be temporary because it really reflects the chaos and confusion and ad hoc nature of the current dispersal system, which is concentrating problems in some parts of the country.

“It’s not fair for the Government to simply try to hit councils with a very large hammer and say ‘you’re not doing your part’ when there are actually some really profound reasons, not just resources but availability of foster care beds.”

It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered a “whole-scale reform of our asylum system”.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054