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One criteria necessary to becoming a Council of Sanctuary is for a local authority to pass a motion setting out a commitment to be a place of sanctuary.

Motions are important because they show political recognition that people seeking sanctuary are not only entitled to claim asylum under the law, but that they also deserve our welcome and support.

Many Councils have already passed such motions of support. You can find examples below.

Working with your council to get a pledge of support

Sheffield City Council led the way by being the first Council to make a pledge of support to be a City of Sanctuary. 

The pledge of support that a local authority makes will depend on context. It can be as simple as a short statement committing the council to the idea of welcoming and supporting people seeking sanctuary, or it could take the form of a more detailed pledge outlining the practical actions they intend to take.

Some councils have also passed motions of support for campaigns, such as #LiftTheBan.

See the links below to find some of the Council motions that have been passed by other cities.

Example motions of support

In 2007, Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary with a motion of support from Sheffield City Council. In 2017, the Council passed another support motion to mark 10 years.

In 2008, Swansea City Council voted unanimously to pass a motion pledging support for plans to make Swansea a ‘City of Sanctuary’

Cllr Christopher Stewart's speech at the Council meeting

In 2012, Ipswich Borough Council passed a resolution of support towards Ipswich becoming a “Town of Sanctuary”.

In 2013, Bristol City Council passed a city of sanctuary motion condemning the UK Border Agency’s policy of forcing people seeking asylum into destitution.

Birmingham City Council passed a resolution of support for City of Sanctuary in 2015.

In 2015, Newcastle City Council have signed a motion in favour of becoming a City of Sanctuary

In 2016,  Wolverhampton Civic Centre to pledge their support to make Wolverhampton a City of Sanctuary.

In 2016, Reading Borough Council has unanimously agreed to support refugee families into the town.

In 2017, Hastings Council unanimously-voted to work to implement the City of Sanctuary pledges through its actions and policies.

In 2017, Southampton City of Sanctuary presented to the full Southampton City Council chamber asking them to recognise and endorse that Southampton is a City of Sanctuary

In 2020 Royal Borough of  Greenwich passed a Sanctuary motion commuting the local authority to welcoming people of sanctuary seeking  background 

On the 28th of June 2021,  Shrewsbury Town Council voted unanimously to embed the City of Sanctuary vision and principles in council policies and practices.

On the 8th of July 2021Islington Borough Council passed a motion signalling the commitment of the council to embedding sanctuary principles in their work.

In July 2021 Shropshire Council agreed to work towards a ‘Council of Sanctuary’ Recognition gaining cross-party support from across the chamber. 

City of York Council has passed a motion at full council on 21st of October 2021, committing to join the City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network and work towards a ‘Council of Sanctuary’ Award 

In October 2021 CHESHIRE West and Chester councillors have unanimously backed plans to become a ‘Borough of Sanctuary’ and Join the City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network

West Northamptonshire Council votes through a Sanctuary Motion

at a full council meeting in December 2021 on a sanctuary motion which sets out the council's commitment

Winchester City Council to join the LAs Network

following a full council vote on the 12th Jan 2022 on a sanctuary motion which sets out the council's commitment

Gloucester City Council passes a unanimous motion

to explore joining the Network and become A City Council of Sanctuary

Salford joins the LAs Network

On the 19th of January passed a full council motion to begin the process of being recognised as a Council of Sanctuary.

Reading Borough Council passes motion

to reaffirm the council's commitment as a City of Sanctuary through beginning the application process for ‘Council of Sanctuary’ status.