A green amendment successfully passed through an extraordinary council session, as Greens reiterate that the city must unite to call on the Home Office to end the use of hotels for vulnerable asylum-seekers
In an extraordinary council session this evening, Greens successfully passed an amended motion that identifies the Home Office’s responsibility for the hostile environment for refugees and migrants across the country. Councillors across the chamber united in condemning the nation-wide failures that led to children going missing from these hotels in Brighton & Hove.
The motion calls on the Home Office to close the hotels where they are placing unaccompanied children seeking asylum, to desist from moving any more unaccompanied children into the City outside of the normal scheme, and to immediately place children accommodated at the hotel into local authority care placements across the country. This follows a report published by Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership this week, which reiterated that the council acted correctly, and that responsibility lies with the Home Office.
Cllr Zoe John, who spoke for the motion, said:
“I want to send solidarity to all those who find themselves in circumstances that mean they have to leave their home countries. It is unthinkable for many of us, but whether due to war, economic circumstances, family or health, displacement can impact anyone. As the climate crisis worsens, more and more people will be forced to take this option.
“We join with colleagues in finding avenues for justice in this horrifying situation. We have consistently pointed out that the Home Office is responsible, and highlight that fact publicly in order to unite and focus this council in the correct direction. Nothing less will resolve this.”
Chair of Children, Young People and Skills Committee Cllr Hannah Allbrooke said:
“Greens have done everything we can to stop these hotels. Not everything we do can or should be public, as doing so would risk harming those vulnerable people who we act to protect. But we have consistently explored all options available to us, continually sought legal advice and always spoken out publicly against Home Office neglect and cruelty – over the course of years.
“We are focused on supporting these children, and the council will do whatever it can. Part of that is being honest about what we cannot do; it is the Home Office that is responsible for the hostile environment created for refugees and migrants. Only unified, direct opposition to Home Office policy can change that.”