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Government urged to make Windrush Compensation Scheme more accessible

The Milton Keynes Liberal Democrats will propose a motion at Full Council tonight urging the Government to make the Windrush Compensation Scheme more accessible.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme was launched in 2019 to provide compensation to victims of the Windrush scandal, which emerged as a result of the Conservative government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy that was introduced in 2012 by then Home Secretary Theresa May.

The Windrush scandal saw the British Home Office deny residency rights and citizenship to many people who had been living in the UK legally for if not most, but all their lives. This resulted in thousands of people across the UK being stripped of their British passports, right to work, healthcare, and benefits.

The scheme that was launched more than 4 years ago has so far only resulted in 1,518 people receiving compensation for their suffering, and a further 1,988 with eligible claims have been awarded no compensation.

Councillor Uroy Clarke of Broughton Ward, who is Jamaican born, said:

“Just last month we saw the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948. The anniversary was celebrated by many including some of the amazing charities and organisations that we have here in Milton Keynes. But how can we properly celebrate the contributions the Windrush generation has made to the city whilst this is hanging over us? The Windrush generation are victims through no fault of their own, they have worked hard all their lives, paying tax and national insurance yet they are being denied compensation they are rightfully owed, it is disgraceful.”

Currently, those affected must complete a 44-page claim form to receive compensation for losses relating to employment, immigration fees, housing, health, education, and living costs, amongst other factors that have impacted their daily lives.

Lib Dem councillors have heavily criticised the scheme, arguing that the application process is long, complex, and that the requirements make it almost impossible for people to prove their status.

Councillor Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, added:

“It is heart breaking that people have been forced out of their homes and jobs, and with no access to housing, benefits, or healthcare have been left to suffer and with no choice other than to end up in debt. To then fill out a 44-page long application form is ridiculous! The Government must make the scheme more accessible.”

Councillor Clarke will move the motion asking the Chief Executive of the City Council to write to the Home Secretary Suella Braverman asking for the Windrush Compensation Scheme to be more accessible, for legal aid to be awarded, and to request the appointment of a migrant’s commissioner, and to commit to holding reconciliation events as suggested in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

The Windrush Lessons Learned Review was published in March 2020 conducted to identify causes of the scandal and key lessons for the Home Office.

The Government failed to adopt the remaining 3 recommendations outlined in the report:

· Appoint a Migrant’s Commissioner responsible for speaking up for migrants and those affected

· Holding a series of reconciliation events with people impacted to listen and reflect on their stories

· Giving the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration (ICIBI) new powers

If the motion is passed, the City Council will also be required to continue to celebrate and honour the huge contributions of the Windrush generation in Milton Keynes and ensure the appointed Ethnic Minority Champion attends Windrush celebrations each year.

Last year the City Council announced that the role of an Ethnic Minority Champion was being created and going forward will provide representation and advocate for issues that are faced by Ethnic Minority communities.


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