On 3 April 2013, Sheffield City Council unanimously passed a motion on asylum seekers which was submitted by the secretary of the Labour Group and supported by the Lib Dems and Greens.The motion states that the Council shares the concerns raised by groups working with refused asylum seekers about the levels of destitution in Sheffield and outlines action to be taken by the Leader of the Council (full text attached as a file).
In addition, a Motion on destitution is also being proposed in Oxford and this will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on 22 April 2013.
NOTICE OF MOTION GIVEN BY COUNCILLOR GEOFF SMITH AND PASSED UNANIMOUSLY BY SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL ON 3 APRIL 2013
That this Council:
(a) welcomes the initiatives by Glasgow & Bristol City Councils in passing a motion highlighting concerns about refused asylum seekers and the lack of support for them in theUK;
(b) commends the work with refused asylum seekers in Sheffield by organisations such as City ofSanctuary, Northern Refugee Centre, SYMAAG and ASSIST;
(c) shares the concerns raised by groups working with refused asylum seekers about the levels of destitution in Sheffield and the associated problems this creates; and
(d) asserts that if Sheffield’s proud declaration as the country’s first City ofSanctuaryis to be meaningful and worthy of its fine words, we must act to improve this situation in the following ways;
(i) the Leader of the Council writes to the Home Secretary and Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency seeking changes to their policy toward refused asylum seekers; and
(ii) the Leader of the Council sends a copy of this letter to:
1. The Home Affairs Select Committee for consideration during its inquiry into Asylum;
2. Sheffield MPs to support the content of this motion and to raise the matter in the House of Commons; and
3. The Local Government Association to encourage other councils in theUKto followSheffield’s lead.