Newcastle is set to be named a City of Sanctuary this week. City of Sanctuary is a movement which aims to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. The goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the country which are proud to be places of safety.
Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007, Swansea followed in 2010, now Newcastle is set to become the third City to officially adopt the title. Community groups and support services approached Newcastle City Council last year about becoming a City of Sanctuary.
After a year of hard work community groups and support services feel the level of service offered to asylum seekers in Newcastle is of a standard expected of a City of Sanctuary. The council's cabinet will be asked to approve the status on Wednesday.
By approving the status the council will be promising to support and help community and voluntary organisations and recognising the positive contribution migrants make to life in Newcastle.
Musa Hassan Ali came to Newcastle as an asylum seeker from Rwanda 11 years ago. He intended to move on but found the welcome in Newcastle so supportive he made the city his home. He says it is the only place he's truly felt safe in his life.
Newcastle City Council have released a statement after over sixty cases of food poisoning were reported following the Street Spice festival.
The Street Spice festival took place at Newcastle's Times Square last week where sixteen businesses attended the event.
Stephen Savage, the Director of Regulatory Services and Public Protection at Newcastle City Council, said:
“The City Council’s environmental health officers, in partnership with colleagues in the Health Protection Agency, are carrying out an investigation following reports of diarrhoea and vomiting illness in some people who attended the Street Spice festival which took place in Times Square last week.
"We have been working closely with neighbouring authorities to collect samples from those affected and we hope to have preliminary results by the end of this week. We are also working closely with the 16 businesses which attended the event to identify the foods which were on sale.”