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 as 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.
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’
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.
In 2016, Wolverhampton Civic Centre to pledge their support to make Wolverhampton a City of Sanctuary.
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
In December 2021, the concil votes through a Sanctuary Motion at a full council meeting which sets out the council's commitment.
Winchester City Council
The council joins the Local Authority 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
A motion is unanimous passed to explore joining the Network and become A City Council of Sanctuary.
Salford City Council
On the 19th of January, the council joins the Local Authority Network and passed a full council motion to begin the process of being recognised as a Council of Sanctuary.
Reading Borough Council
In March 2022 the council passed a motion to begin the application process for 'Council of Sanctuary status.
Babergh District Council
In April 2022, the council passed a motion to sign up as a Council of Sanctuary.
Peterborough City Council
In June 2022, the council passed a motion to join the Local Authorities of Sanctuary Network.
Wandsworth Borough Council
In July 2022, Wandsworth Council confirmed it is committed to becoming a Borough of Sanctuary.
Craven District Council
In June 2022, announced that it would be preparing a bid to be recognised as a district of sanctuary.
Southend-on-Sea City Council
In November 2022, the council pledges to do more to support refugees fleeing conflict
London Borough of Waltham Forest
In December 2022, the council began begun the journey to become a Borough of Sanctuary.
London Borough of Kingston upon Thames
In their December 2022 full council, Kingston councillors passed a motion to become a Council of Sanctuary
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
In December 2022, Richmond Council confirmed its commitment to becoming a Borough of Sanctuary for people fleeing war and persecution
In Jan 2023, Camden councillors passed a unanimous cross-party motion and began their journey to embedding welcome across council services and the wider community
Hounslow London Borough Council
In January 2023, Hounslow Council committed to working with City of Sanctuary Local Authority network to ensure the borough is a welcoming place for people seeking sanctuary
In February 2023, the council resolved to develop a formal approach to engaging with, listening to and supporting those seeking sanctuary, including the development of a three-year strategy.
In February 2023, Newham Council agreed to join the network of cities and towns which promote the inclusion and welfare of people who are fleeing violence and persecution and become a recognised Borough of Sanctuary.
In Nov 2022, Monmouthshire cabinet agreed to begin the process of formally applying to become a county council of sanctuary.