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Greenwich Sanctuary Motion

25 NOVEMBER 2020
TITLE: “Sanctuary”

PROPOSING COUNCILLORS: David Gardner, Miranda Williams,
Averil Lekau, Sarah Merrill, Chris Lloyd, Christine May, Mark James, Anthony Okereke,
John Fahy, Matthew Morrow, Mariam Lolavar, Denise Scott-McDonald, David Stanley,
Ivis Williams, Linda Bird, Ann-Marie Cousins, Adel Khaireh, Olu Babatola,
Dominic Mbang, Norman Adams

This Council reaffirms its commitment to being a welcoming home and sanctuary to
asylum seekers, refugees and migrants and upholds the principles of dignity and
respect for all. The current pandemic has underlined the huge role that migrants
have played in the NHS, care and other frontline services too often paying the
ultimate sacrifice to protect Britain from harm and save lives. In particular, we
mourn the tragic loss of four NHS professionals in our Lewisham and Greenwich

In an age of growing xenophobia with the globalisation of the far right from Trump
to Orban, UK Hostile Environment policies have blurred the distinction between
service provision and immigration enforcement with the most vulnerable having no
recourse to public funds (NRPF) and being left destitute. Recognising our history
and ethos of welcoming refugees over many decades and our enduring commitment
to diversity and inclusion:
This Council commits to:

1. Flying the “City of Sanctuary” flag on World Refugee Day and to work with
the local organisations towards becoming a Royal Borough of Sanctuary.
2. Encouraging our residents to exercise their existing rights in conjunction with
excellent local advice organisations, ensuring continued routine access to
interpreters and immigration advice.
3. Continue to work with community networks to provide practical support to
those in despair and destitution
4. Review the advantages and concerns around an embedded Home Office
secondee examining different practices in other local authority NRPF teams,
taking account of the reduction to a part-time position and the Overview and
Scrutiny recommendations.
5. Working towards all residents being able to access voluntary and statutory
services to meet their basic healthcare, housing, and income needs including
further support vulnerable groups by continuing to investigate rogue
6. Improving access to employment continuing to support English as a Second
Language courses helping migrants to access employment opportunities
through LSEC and other providers. We continue to be committed to
improving understanding of the career paths available, and focused advice for
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates through GLLaB and with local

And asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary
asking the government to:

1. Implement the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into
detention, end the shameful practice of “indefinite detention” and work
towards the closure of all detention centres.
2. Honour its commitment to the “Dubs amendment” and reopen the scheme
to provide sanctuary to 10,000 child refugees over the next ten years (3-5
per local authority) and properly fund local authorities to support
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.
3. End NRPF policies and reverse attacks on access to the NHS.
4. Extend the equal right to vote to all UK residents, regardless of citizenship
and grant asylum seekers the right to take paid work while their application is
being determined.
5. Develop clear policies so public service providers (schools, NHS etc.) are not
part of the ‘Hostile Environment’ by, for example, providing data to be used
for detention and deportation.