Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.
Members considered a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of a request, to the City of London Corporation, to make a pledge of additional resettlement support and accommodation to unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. Members noted that the City Corporation already exceeded the level of support expected of local authorities and the report recommended that the City Corporation should not pledge additional support and resources at this time.
Members suggested that the City Corporation should still pledge its support, to enable the ‘Our Turn’ Campaign to seek government funding. Members also commented on the perception generally of the City Corporation’s wealth, particularly as other Local Authorities had made pledges. Members also raised the potential cost implications, to both the Police and Children’s Services, if young refugees were exploited.
The Director advised that he had spoken to King Edwards School and, as the majority of unaccompanied asylum seeking children were above 14, the assistance they could offer was limited. Officers always sought to keep families together as much as possible.
Members requested further information on what the pledge entailed and whether other London authorities had pledged. Members asked for this report to be deferred in order for it to be re-written to reflect making a pledge, as set out above.
RESOLVED, that – the report be deferred pending inclusion of the arguments discussed in support of making a pledge to the ‘Our Turn’ Campaign.