Photograph: Pontins, Ainsdale
Pontins at Ainsdale is NOT being prepared for any influx of refugees but Southport and Formby families have offered their homes to help for a substantial number of those fleeing the terror of ISIS.
Firm assurances have been provided to Lib Dem Deputy Leader Councillor that there are no ‘behind the scenes’ moves whatsoever between the Council and Pontins management in connection with refugee resettlement. Central government would need to work closely with local councils over any substantial refugee resettlement programme.
In contrast, dozens of families in the Southport and Formby area have come forward with personal offers to put up refugees in their own local homes once systems have been put in place to bring them to the UK. At present, David Cameron’s national plans would involve only 6 or 7 refugees per year coming to a town the size of Southport but the offers of local individuals to help have considerably exceeded this suggested provision. Local Councillors of all Parties feel that the country and the communities within the Borough of Sefton could do more than this. At last week’s council meeting, they unanimously passed a motion proposed by Southport’s Councillor Tony Dawson and seconded by Formby Councillor Nina Killen which called upon the government to do more to co-ordinate the individual, voluntary and charitable efforts which British people want to make to assist genuine refugees.
Moving the motion in the Council chamber, Cllr Dawson emphasised that the help which people wanted to give was for genuine refugees, not economic migrants. “So processes have to be in place to stop oppotunistic people ‘piggy-backing’ on the misery of others” he says, “also, financial support for the refugees being assisted in Britain should not be taken either from funds earmarked for local councils or from the International Aid budget.”
“Not everyone wants to or can help in this humanitarian effort,” says Cllr Dawson, “But the government should recognise and support those who do want to personally assist in this charitable manner.”
Referring to the Pontins rumour, Cllr Dawson says:
“I know that Pontins are wanting to get people staying there who won’t rubbish them on the Tripadvisor website. But it appears their efforts continue to be based upon the home market rather than abroad.”
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