Bradford and Leeds show concern over destitution

On 9 July, Bradford City Council passed a motion on asylum and destitution which was moved by Councillor Azam. In this motion Bradford City Council resolves to: write to the Minister of State for Immigration making clear its opposition to the use of destitution as a policy tool to force refused asylum seekers to leave the UK; request the Home Office to ensure that it continues to provide financial support and accommodation until a safe return is negotiated or an individual leaves the UK or leave to remain is granted; and to write to the Government seeking a change of policy to allow local authorities to assist refused asylum seekers at risk of destitution and provide emergency provision to them as they would to any other homeless person. In addition, the motion states that Bradford City Council should join Still Human Still Here and calls on all Bradford District MPs to support this motion and to raise the matter in the House of Commons.

In view of the fact that we have already discussed and agreed membership of Bristol and Oxford Council under similar circumstances, I propose to confirm Bradford City Council’s membership next week. If any member organisations have any concerns over this, please let me know by the close of play on Friday.  

Following the deputation to Leeds City Council on 8 May 2013 (see attached file), the Council resolved to review the issue. On 17 July, a report to the Executive Board was discussed (also attached) and it was resolved that: the Chief Executive write to the Home Secretary voicing concerns that the current application of the asylum process is allowing too many people to fall destitute; that the burden of responsibility needs to be more equally shared between local and national government; that the findings of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry be endorsed, and that approval be given to act on the findings that can be achieved by local government; and that relevant policies of the ‘Still Human, Still Here’ campaign to end institutional destitution for asylum seekers, be supported.  The full motion is also attached as a file.

Council motions are a really important mechanism of raising awareness and indicating local opposition to the destitution of asylum seekers. All members are encouraged to support/start local initiatives to get other City Councils to pass similar motions. For a framework motion which can be tailored to local situations or further information, contact me at:  In the North West they are hoping to get the following Council’s to pass motions: Blackburn and Darwin, Bolton, Bury, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Stockport and Wigan.