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Kirklees Council has become the 8th Council to pass a motion against destitution and joins Oxford, Bristol, Liverpool and Bradford as members of the Still Human Still Here coalition!

Accompanied by Lucy from DASH (Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield) and a number of people who DASH has supported over the last year, Regional Asylum Activism delivered a deputation to Council, calling for all members to support Cllr Peter O’Neill’s motion against destitution. The motion inspired passionate speeches from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green councillors, all of who voiced their public support for those who are forced into destitution by inhumane government policy. With 48 councillors voting in favour, and only 16 against, the motion was carried!

This is great news for Kirklees and West Yorkshire! Not only do we know that at least three quarters of Kirklees Councillors think that the use of destitution as a policy tool is fundamentally wrong, but Kirklees Council has now joined other City Councils in the collective call for a change of national policy. To date, three out of the five West Yorkshire Councils have now passed motions against destitution, and progress is being made in Wakefield and Calderdale. This is an important step towards ensuring that all those who seek safety in the UK are able to live in dignity, not destitution.

We believe that the government’s policy of forcing people into destitution must end. We also believe in the power of local communities and governments standing up for the rights of those who seek safety in the UK. Destitution can never be justified.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this happen and continues to provide support for those who are forced into destitution here in the UK.

Lorna Gledhill
Regional Asylum Activism Co-ordinator for Yorkshire & Humberside