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Cambridge City Council to discuss funding for asylum support

posted 23 Feb 2017, 09:26 by Leonie Anna Mueck
Tonight, Cambridge City Council will discuss two motions on refugees in Cambridge. The first is on continuing funding for Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum's advice service for asylum seekers beyond 2018. We have written a letter to the leader of the Council, Lewis Herbert in support of that motion (see also below). The second motion asks for the council to thank the volunteers involved in helping refugees, convincing the neighbouring councils to do more and convincing the national government to resettle more refugees in Cambridge. The agenda of the City Council meeting can be found here.

Letter to the City Council:

Dear Lewis,

Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign (CRRC) would like to express its support for the proposal to continue funding Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum’s advice service for refugees and asylum seekers beyond October 2017. This proposal will be discussed in the City Council meeting on 23 February 2017 as an amendment for the 2017/18 budget.

Our organisation’s main focus are resettlement refugees brought to Cambridge through the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme but we have extended our help to various asylum seekers that have come to Cambridge through other routes. In fact, many of the asylum seekers that our volunteers have been helping got in touch with us through the surgeries and advice that the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum gives. The work with them has made us acutely aware of just how difficult and mentally straining life as an asylum seeker in the UK is. We cannot stress enough how crucial it is for asylum seekers to have a place to turn to for competent advice when they face destitution, detention or deportation.

While the government is trying to push towards strictly controlled and minuscule resettlement programmes as the preferred route to the UK for people fleeing war and persecution, we must not forget that there is a right to asylum and that Cambridge, as a City of Sanctuary, must do everything to stand up for it. Providing a very modest amount for the continuation of Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum’s advice programme is the least Cambridge should do.

On this occasion, we would like to also thank Cambridge City Council for the great work they have been doing with resettlement refugees and we hope to continue our fruitful cooperation in the years to come.

Yours sincerely,

Leonie Mueck

(for Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign)