Powys will become a ‘Council of Sanctuary’ as it is the “ethical and morally proper” thing to do.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, 11 July councillors agreed unanimously to join the ‘City of Sanctuary’ local authority network and begin the application process to become a ‘Council of Sanctuary’.

Cabinet member for a safer Powys Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Church said that joining the network is “something we should welcome” and would send out an “enormous positive message from this authority.”

Cllr Church said: “The work that’s been done for refugees and asylum seekers has been going on for some years and it’s something we have done well.

“In saying that we are county of sanctuary we’re sending a message to everybody that we welcome people coming here.

“Not just because we’re told to do it by government or by anybody else – but because we believe it’s something right and ethical and morally proper for us to do.”

He added that the effort of voluntary and community groups efforts in supporting asylum seekers and refugees across Powys should also be “celebrated.”

Deputy leader Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “This speaks to who we are and embodies our values as an outward looking, compassionate, kind and caring organisation. We should be proud of that.”

Since 2016 the council has been supporting refugees to resettle in Powys and currently they help six families from Afghanistan, 15 families from Syria and 105 families from Ukraine.