Advertising

Immigrants in Wolverhampton in £40-a-week cash plan after Jeremiah Regis case

By Annabal Bagdi | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Immigrants moving to the city could get almost £40 a week in a move set to cost the council an extra £500,000 a year.

Left, Chevaze McGregor and Sindyann Laverne Regis and right, young Jeremiah Regis

Migrant families setting in Wolverhampton but unable to claim benefits are set to get the cash under the new policy.

The move to support families with 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF) could also help stop threats of court action being hurled at the Wolverhampton council.

It comes after a serious case review into the death of Wednesfield toddler Jeremiah Regis-Ngaujah, whose mother was an ‘undocumented migrant' in the city.

A report to the council read: "Recently there has been an increase in families with NRPF who are being relocated outside of the London area due to the cost of privately rented accommodation.

"The local authority regularly faces threats of judicial review in respect of multiple issues that all stem from the same issue: the parents of children who are NRPF are not having their immigration status determined in a timely manner.

"The local authority is challenged when it is deemed to not have provided support to prevent destitution.

"Having a clear procedure in place that is aligned with a Government support rate minimises the risk of judicial review and will ensure families experience a fair level of support across the city."

People with no recourse to public funds are migrants who are ‘subject to immigration control’ - which means they are not entitled to certain benefits, council housing or homelessness assistance.

Advertising

The council's children services are contacted for support by one family on average per week, with 51 families currently receiving help.

Plans could see migrants receive £37.75 each to cover essential living needs, with extra cash on offer for new mothers, nursing and winter clothing.

The new weekly rates are expected to cost the council half a million a year, the report revealed.

The report added: "The level of financial support provided is inconsistent across each locality area within the city.

Advertising

"This is posing considerable demands on budgets which cannot be sustained at the current level."

A multi-agency forum has been launched since a serious case review into youngster Jeremiah's death to support NRPF families, the council said.

Jeremiah was murdered by Chevaze McGregor - his mother Sindyann Regis' violent partner - in November 2016.

The review revealed how McGregor’s ‘controlling’ behaviour towards Caribbean-native Regis had been raised but not recorded by medics.

Checks were not done on McGregor by the NRPF team at Croydon Council, where Jeremiah was born.

Councillors are expected to approve the plans during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News