Council Reject Call to Ask Government for Extra Resources to Support Refugees

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

With the resettlement of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan in the United Kingdom, Hillingdon Council have voted to back the principle of supporting refugees but rejected an amendment that could have resulted in additional resources to help.

At their most recent full meeting on September 9th, Hillingdon Council voted through a motion expressing support for the UK Government's "Operation Warm Welcome" programme and committed the Council to helping refugees rebuild their lives in the borough.

The motion, submitted by Phillip Cawthorne, Conservative Councillor for West Ruislip, resolved that the Council would:

  • Support the UK Government's "Operation Warm Welcome" programme and assist refugee families from Afghanistan as they resettle in the UK.

  • Work with national and local charities and partner agencies to ensure that Afghan refugees settling in the London Borough of Hillingdon have access to appropriate support to develop language skills, gain employment and integrate into the life of the borough.

  • Provide the children of Afghan refugees settling in the London Borough of Hillingdon with appropriate educational support.

  • Work with Government, London Councils, the Mayor of London and landlords to provide appropriate housing for Afghan refugees in the London Borough of Hillingdon without putting further pressure on the demand for social housing.

The Conservative Group voted down an amendment from Labour Councillor Kerri Prince which called for the Council to ask the Government to commit more resources to support councils who are settling refugees.

Speaking during the debate, Councillor Prince said:

"This Government is no friend to asylum seekers. When people do make it to the UK, and claim asylum, what are they met with? Absurdly long immigration processes. Unacceptable standards of accommodation. Just £39.63 per person per week. That’s before we even consider their wellbeing.

"The trauma that a person will have gone through will often require physical and mental health treatment. There will be an increased demand on local services. There will be a strain on community cohesion as this demand on services grows. Is this Council prepared for that? Has this Council even considered that?"

The next full Council meeting will be on Thursday 18th November.