Support for City of Sanctuary Destitution Motion to Bristol City Council
Supporters we need your help. It's now happening and the debate is on and we’re told the motion is now No. 2 on order papers.
Statements on Destitution for the Bristol City Council's Full Council Meeting on Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 2pm.
Cllr Ron Stone, from the Labour group of councillors with support from other councillors will present a motion (pasted below) urging Bristol City Council through the Mayor to act further in the spirit of its status as a City of Sanctuary, to deplore the government asylum policy that leads to destitution, and to seek ways to relieve the suffering of this small but desperate number of Bristol residents.
Cllr Fi Hance from the Lib Dem group will present amendments and second the motion. Ron is making efforts to get cross party support to this vital motion. Bristol City of Sanctuary is therefore encouraging you to put either individual or organisations statements in support of the motion.
DEADLINE Statements need to be in by 12 noon on Monday 14th January and sent to democratic.services a_t bristol d_o_t gov d_o_t uk
Use the subject "Statement for Full Council meeting -Tuesday 15 January," City of Sanctuary and your name at the bottom.
Individuals who put in their statements might have the opportunity to speak at the public session that begins the meeting but time is always very tight.
Keep this date 15th January, 2pm in your diary and come to fill the public gallery of the City Hall Chamber to support this motion to end destitution of asylum seekers. And also to highlight the issue of forced destitution of asylum seekers, a group of vulnerable sanctuary seekers and their supporters will Sleep Out in the Chains of Destitution, College Green 7pm, Monday 14th January 2013 ahead of the debate the following day.
More details will follow.
We humbly appeal for your continued support in making Bristol a real city of sanctuary.
For any support with your statements feel free to get in touch with Bristol City of Sanctuary Coordinator, Forward Maisokwadzo: Forward a_t cityofsanctuary d_o_t org or 0117 941 5960 / 079 19894 900 Again thank you in advance for your support!
MOTION Bristol A City Of Sanctuary????
Bristol City Council adopted a motion in November 2010 to support the declaration of Bristol as a City Of Sanctuary, which took place on 22nd June 2011.
By so doing, the City Council committed itself to recognising the plight of genuine asylum seekers forced to flee their home countries for expressing views or holding opinions ruling regimes disagreed with or found to be confrontational. In exercising their Human Right of Free Speech in their own countries, many have received death threats, suffered beatings and threats to their family members, forcing them to abandon their homes, their country and all their possessions.
If their cases are refused they lose financial support and accommodation. Current laws prohibit their right to work. This leaves them in a cycle of deprivation and poverty that is currently impossible to break. Many are forced into homelessness on the street.
Council welcomes the Glasgow City Council initiative in passing a motion, highlighting the concerns for refused asylum seekers, and lack of support and facilities UK wide.
Council asserts that if our proud declaration stating Bristol IS a City of Sanctuary is to be meaningful and worthy of it’s fine words we MUST act to improve this situation as follows:
1) That the Mayor write on behalf of the City Council to the Minister of State deploring the government policy that forces refused asylum seekers into destitution, while they continue to fight for a safe haven from persecution.
2) That the Mayor writes to the UK Government seeking a change of policy to allow local authorities to assist refused asylum seekers in danger of destitution, and provide equal emergency provision to refused asylum seekers as to any other homeless person in Bristol.
3) That the Mayor calls on all Bristol MPs to support the content of this motion and to raise the matter in the House of Commons, and support a change in current laws regarding asylum applications by removing restrictions on local authorities in the support they can provide to destitute asylum seekers, and to restore their right to work.
4) Agrees to produce a report highlighting all existing support available in Bristol including Housing Training Education Legal Advice open to vulnerable asylum applicants
5) Believes that the City Council should work closely with the voluntary sector through a designated officer to provide help, support and advice to applicants and enable a coordinated response to be easily available to those in need, at this vulnerable times of their lives.
6) Join the national campaign Still Human, Still Here (coalition of 29 organisations, including the CofE and Catholic Archbishops’ Conferences, Amnesty International and the Red Cross, who are proposing practical solutions to ending the destitution of refused asylum seekers in the UK)(*).
7) Agrees to seek further support for this motion and actions via The Local Government Association encouraging other Councils in the UK to follow Bristol’s lead. Cllr Ron Stone. Deputy Leader Labour Group.
(*) The coalition believes that the current system is inhumane, wasteful of life and money, ineffective in ensuring protection for those in need, and damaging to promotion of community cohesion and challenging social exclusion
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