Bradford Council has been awarded the status of Local Authority of Sanctuary.

Bradford Council has been awarded the status of Local Authority of Sanctuary.

This is a movement of local councils who are working to create a culture of welcome, inclusion and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary.

It builds on the work of the Bradford District as a City of Sanctuary which was obtained in 2010. Bradford City of Sanctuary exists to generate an environment of safety and hospitality in the City. They identify gaps in support, connect people to places, promote and host events as well as advocate and educate for a fair, equal and diverse society.

This work contributes to the Bradford For Everyone Strategy delivered by Stronger Communities in the Council’s Department of Place which aims to ensure the district is place where everyone can get on, get along, get involved and feel safe.

Cllr Abdul Jabar. Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Communities said: “After being a City of Sanctuary since 2010 in Bradford, we are delighted to be awarded status as a Local Authority and join the wider network in working together to ensure that we welcome and support all those seeking sanctuary in our neighbourhoods and communities. We look forward to developing and progressing this ambition within the Council working with our partners, including all those who have lived experience.”

Leader of Bradford Council, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “We are extremely pleased to join with other local authorities in becoming a Local Authority of Sanctuary and working with the wider City of Sanctuary network to continue to increase inclusion for those seeking sanctuary across the UK.

“This award shows our commitment to celebrating diversity and equality and builds on our proud history of work with partners.

“Thank you to all the individuals and families from the whole sanctuary seeking community, City of Sanctuary and all the incredible hard working and dedicated voluntary and faith based organisations working together across the district who support the work of making our district a welcome place of sanctuary.”

Will Sutcliffe, founding Chair of Bradford’s City of Sanctuary group, said: “Congratulations to Bradford Council on achieving the Local Authority of Sanctuary Award. This important award not only recognises the range and depth of goodwill and support within the council for those currently seeking sanctuary, but a history that includes becoming a first Home Office dispersal city in 1999, and one of the first (and still very few) cities participating in the UNHCR Refugee Resettlement programmes. This award builds on the 2010 national recognition of Bradford as a ‘City of Sanctuary’, a status that was formally renewed in 2014. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the council in the years to come as we extend the vision of sanctuary in the city.”

The Council will build upon existing work and develop it in line with the Council’s Equality Objectives and Equality Plan . The plan promotes inclusion and equality for all people in the district and sees the inclusion of refugees as a key area to address to ensure they have equality of opportunity to progress into employment and education and engage in social mixing within the district and that they feel safe.