THE BODY which represents Scottish local authorities has demanded urgent talks with the Home Secretary after she accused them of not "pulling their weight" to accommodate asylum seekers.

The Home Secretary said yesterday that local authorities, particularly in Scotland, as well as the Scottish Government, were not doing enough to help the current situation. 

It comes as the number of people making the treacherous journey across the English Channel has reached a record level this year, with more than 25,000 asylum seekers crossing the busy shipping lane in 2021. 

Ms Patel is coming under increasing pressure to reduce the numbers.

Cosla, which represents Scottish councils, wrote to the Home Secretary yesterday asking her for urgent talks. 

Councillor Kelly Parry from COSLA said: "All 32 councils in Scotland recognise their responsibilities to support the important role that the UK plays in providing safety to those fleeing oppression in their country of origin. 

"This has manifested itself in our unanimous and ongoing support for UK resettlement programmes and, most recently, our participation in schemes for Afghan nationals and the national rota for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

"However, Scottish Local Government has also been clear in its opposition to the current approach around asylum dispersal in general and the use of hotels specifically. 

"There is no funding in place for local statutory services to support people seeking asylum and, unfortunately, the current scale of hotel use across the UK is a direct consequence of the approach that the UK Government has chosen to take.

"I have written to the Home Secretary seeking urgent dialogue on the role that Scottish councils can play in ensuring that asylum seekers are appropriately accommodated and supported. 

"Scottish Local Government is of the opinion that there is a workable solution to be found here and we would urge the UK Government to engage in discussions with us as a matter of priority." 

READ MORE: Priti Patel accuses Scotland of 'not pulling its weight' on asylum seeker crisis

Ms Patel yesterday contacted more than 200 UK councils telling them they would now have to accommodate asylum seekers, which is a change form the previous voluntary arrangement. 

Only those councils which are able to provide a reason why they are unable to do so will be exempt. 

In Scotland, only Glasgow participates in the asylum dispersal accomodation scheme, which sees those seeking refuge housed across the country.

However all councils have helped to accomodate asylum seekers in the past, including those from Syria.