Skip to main content

To: The Executive of York City Council

Give a home to asylum seekers in York

UPDATE: 17/09/15
We have handed in our petition yesterday and with over 1300 signatures it felt great.

What seemed like a lot of empty words, by our head of York Council Chris Steward, was challenged and questioned by other 38degrees members and myself. Last night the council announced to take on 60 refugees over the next five years. A great start but we still need to keep behind it to make sure we start acting now and not only within the next five years.

We also asked Councillor Steward as our representative to the government to push for quick action which will take place now and won't be delayed longer. He told us the answer to most of the questions will be he doesn't know yet.
So let's keep up the good work to make sure actions speak louder than words.

Here is a picture of the handover yesterday:

A press article regarding the handover:

And the link to my interview on BBC Radio York yesterday morning.
Listen to it at about 1h13mins in:

Thank you again so much for your support. The petition would have been nothing without you!

All the best,

Set a positive example of inclusion nationally within the current migrant crisis by offering opportunities for homing, education and support to people risking their life to escape the persecution suffered in their home country. Give asylum seekers a new chance by sharing more of the wealth, happiness and care that so many enjoy in York.

Why is this important?

Thousands of migrants are dying and risking their lives trying to reach Europe daily. Many governments and people are closing their eyes to the problem, and are afraid of the consequences of taking progressive and positive action. This surely can't be the answer.
The national press rarely provides details of individual stories of migrants - no names, no faces. The de-humanisation of whole families who may have faced torture or starvation is happening right in front of us, and still their stories are presented simply as deaths, arrests or statistics by the media.

After days or weeks of journeying, and with their worldly possessions totalling what little they can carry, it is shameful that these people should be turned away from countries where so many possess second TV sets and cars.

After sending an email request to York City staff member and Assistant Director for Communities and Culture Charlie Croft, who is apparently the relevant councillor on refugee issues, asking him to consider ways of helping those seeking asylum, he stated that York was not a designated dispersal area to receive refugees but that York houses refugees who come from these dispersal areas if they have leave to remain. Clearly he did not intend to be proactive.

I hope this petition will encourage York City Council to commit to devising the infrastructure to help a set number of those seeking asylum. I remember a UK that successfully received refugees from the Balkans in the 1990s and before that from Vietnam. We have the skills and experience and we have the people and organisations who will support this.

Please write to York City Council to put the pressure on and ask to share our wealth and give people a new future.

How it will be delivered

Deliver in person and stage a press conference.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2015-09-17 11:27:25 +0100

Petition is successful with 1,316 signatures

2015-09-17 10:59:07 +0100

Listen to the full radio interview yesterday morning at about 1h13mins in:

2015-09-17 10:56:30 +0100

Here is a picture of the handover:

2015-09-16 15:50:05 +0100

We are in the press:

2015-09-15 08:22:45 +0100

We will deliver our petition to the council on Wednedsay 15.09. Please come and join us! Here is the link:

2015-09-13 18:47:43 +0100

We are thinking of handing our petition to the Council some time next week. I will keep you posted.

2015-09-10 09:34:33 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2015-09-05 18:00:27 +0100

500 signatures reached

2015-09-05 07:26:11 +0100

Listen to the interview on Catchup about 1.09 minutes in

2015-09-04 16:00:16 +0100

TIME CORRECTION: The interview will be between five and half five.

2015-09-04 14:29:22 +0100

I will speak on BBC Radio York between six and half seven about the petition. Please tune in and spread the word. Thank you.

2015-09-03 15:55:33 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-09-03 08:15:13 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-09-02 22:32:10 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-09-02 18:51:01 +0100

10 signatures reached