During the full council meeting on the evening of 18 October, St Albans City and District Council unanimously passed a Liberal Democrat motion on simplifying the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
The Liberal Democrat motion will see the Leader of the Council write to the Home Secretary to ask for a simplification of the Windrush Compensation Scheme process. The Leader will also request legal aid be awarded to those undergoing the application process, for the appointment of a migrants’ commissioner, and for the Home Secretary to commit to holding reconciliation events as suggested in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.
As part of this motion, the Council stated: ‘’This Council resolves to take a lead by working with local groups to establish an Annual Windrush Day when the contribution of the Windrush generation and their successors to the City and District of St Albans can be officially celebrated and recognised by the Council and the wider community.’’
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jenni Murray, who drafted the motion with Liberal Democrat Councillor Andy Thurston, said: ‘’I am pleased that the Windrush Motion was passed by the Council on 18 October. Here in St Albans, residents have felt unsupported in completing the 44-page Windrush Compensation Scheme claim form. With the provision of legal services, we hope that the whole process will be much more achievable and the outcome more acceptable.
‘’Sadly, like my own father, many of our Windrush migrants have passed away without receiving their compensation. With this in mind, it is imperative that this support is made available for their families to claim in their loved one’s memory. ‘’
Councillor Murray also raised statistics from the current Windrush Compensation scheme launched in 2019, which has only resulted in 1,518 people receiving compensation for their suffering and notes a further 1,988 with eligible claims who have been awarded no compensation.