Peterborough city council asked to become 'City of Sanctuary' for refugees

Dogsthorpe ward councillor Ishfaq Hussain has submitted a motion to Peterborough City Council asking for the city to become a ‘City of Sanctuary’ for refugees.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 5:35 pm
Dogsthorpe ward councillor Ishfaq Hussain.
Dogsthorpe ward councillor Ishfaq Hussain.

The City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network is a movement of local councils who are working to create a culture of welcome, inclusion and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary from conflicts or persecution. A total of 99 cities and local authority areas have already signed up to the scheme.

The city has welcomed refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine in recent years and Councillor is now seeking to pledge the council to working proactively with its partners to improve outcomes for migrants in the city.

By signing up to the scheme, Councillor Hussain’s motion states it would “improve community cohesion and integration of refugees and other migrants within the city, reduce hate crime incidents relating to new arrivals, provide a greater understanding of the experience of refugees and other migrants within the wider population, develop systemwide approaches to key challenges that refugees and new arrivals experience within the repatriation process and lead to improved socio-economic medium and long-term outcomes for new arrivals.

If passed at tonight’s council meeting (June 22), the motion would require the council to join the network and establish a Peterborough City of Sanctuary Steering Group but also increase diversity training about refugees for council staff and celebrate the contribution of refugees in the city through annual events such as ‘Refugee Week.’

To find out more about the ‘City of Sanctuary’ network visit https://la.cityofsanctuary.org/