More than 400 residents helped to apply following Green request for council to provide free support
More than 400 residents from countries in the European Union have been helped to apply to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 – and Greens have called for greater support to be offered to those looking to stay.
Brighton and Hove City Council began offering a ‘document check’ service to those seeking to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in October, following a Green proposal agreed by a meeting of councillors in July 2019.
Following the meeting the council purchased scanners, which are now available to people looking to complete the ‘identity checking’ requirement of the application process. Residents can access these scanners at Brighton Town Hall.
Greens have since asked the council to do more to promote the service in Brighton and Hove, raising concerns that many EU citizens may not be aware of the support available. Compared to the national figures, the number of registrations to the scheme in the city remains low.
The free ‘drop in’ identity document (ID) check service is available Monday – Friday, at times advertised on the council’s website.
Councillor Marianna Ebel, who asked the council to commit to further promotion at a meeting today, said:
“With Brexit now a reality, city residents from the EU have been left uncertain about their future. I am glad that the request from Green Councillors for scanners and other support has resulted in 400 people applying for ‘settled status.’ However we must reach many more EU residents who call this city home.
“The application itself requires ID. Many EU citizens do not have an ID document currently, and may have to travel to obtain one. I welcome news that the council may offer assistance to those who might otherwise be excluded from this process – however we urge them to make sure any help is swift and clear, so that residents who have made their lives here are properly supported to stay.”
Councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, who put forward the request for ID scanners said:
“Green councillors are delighted to see EU citizens are being supported with their applications for Settled Status and encouraged to continue to make their home here. As a City of Sanctuary, it is only right that Brighton & Hove should reassure residents from the European Union that they will always remain welcome in our city.”