On December 20th 2016, a group of NELMA families met with Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney.
We gave Mayor Glanville a dossier documenting Hackney’s poor treatment of destitute migrant families who seek support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. We told the mayor about:
- Unlawful ‘gatekeeping’ (destitute families being kept waiting for hours or misled about their entitlements to support)
- Hackney’s frequent refusal to offer interim support while child-in-need assessments are conducted, leaving children street homeless in the meantime.
- Shockingly low rates of financial assistance (as low as £15 per person per week) for families who do get support
- The poor quality and unsuitability of some of the accommodation given to families supported by Hackney under Section 17
- The fear and intimidation caused to families by Hackney Council’s ‘embedded’ immigration officer.
An overview of the evidence we submitted to Hackney Council can be viewed here.
During our meeting, Mayor Glanville was full of promises and goodwill. He apologised directly to one family for the poor treatment they had experienced, and he promised that:
- Sarah Wright, Hackney Director of Children and Families would be investigating the concerns raised by NELMA and one of our partner organisations, Project 17
- A separate internal review would be conducted into how Hackney treats destitute migrant families who seek support – and NELMA would be informed of the outcome.
- Hackney would publish clear policies on rates of support and the presence of the Home Office in social services.
Nearly 6 months have gone by. Apart from a single follow-up email (received on December 20th 2016) in which he reiterated his promises, Mayor Glanville has gone completely quiet. Despite multiple reminders from NELMA, we’ve had:
- No response to the concerns we raised
- No indication of an internal review
- No news of any new policies around rates of support or Home Office presence.
- No reply to our emails!
Is the Mayor unwell? Has the keyboard on his laptop broken? Or is this just another case of crowd-pleasing rhetoric followed by broken promises?
On Wednesday May 31st between 5-6pm, join us in reminding Mayor Philip Glanville about his promises – and Hackney’s responsibility to treat destitute migrant families lawfully – and with dignity and respect.
Here’s what you can do:
Help us put pressure on Philip Glanville by tweeting
Please use our graphic too!
Send the Mayor an email asking him why he’s ignoring NELMA
Write the Mayor an email calling on him to reply to NELMA’s concerns about Hackney Council’s treatment of migrant families with no recourse to public funds.
Please join us on Wednesday and spread the word far and wide!