Photo: Southport Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson
Sefton Councillors are attempting to ‘do their bit’ to assist those residents who want to help Syrian refugees directly.
Southport Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson has drafted a motion, for discussion at the Sefton Council meeting next Thursday, which he hopes reflects overwhelming local feelings and will be supported right across the political spectrum.
“Throughout the past fortnight, people have been approaching me seeking action over the refugee problem to reflect the common humanity which we share.”
“The motion which I have drafted has been discussed with politicians of other parties who I hope will all in harmony on this matter. I am looking to help those members of our own communities who want to ‘do their bit’ as well as notifying the government of the depth of our concerns.”
Council notes that the vast majority of the present thousands of refugees who are pressing towards Europe at this time are fugitives from monstrous civil conflicts, in several of which ‘western powers’ have played a significant role and occasionally threatened further direct involvement.
Council welcomes the significant numbers of local people who have joined in signing petitions, lobbying MPs, writing letters and making internet postings proclaiming that Britain and other European nations refugees should provide homes for genuine refugees and treat these people differently to economic migrants. But more needs doing.
Council further welcomes the generosity of thousands of individuals across Britain who are prepared to offer their own accommodation to help those in need. Central and local government should be working with voluntary organisations to turn people’s wish to help those in need into a reality.
Council believes that central and local government should look at long-empty Old Peoples Homes, offices and other buildings which could quickly be brought back into service to provide emergency housing for refugees in genuine need.
Council believes that, to date, the approach of the UK government to supporting refugees coming from conflict zones has been disappointing. Council welcomes the apparent change of heart on this matter by the government in recent weeks but believes that this requires a clear programme of action rather than words.
Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister sharing the above concerns and requesting urgent action by central government
(a) to work with and fund local authorities throughout Britain to co-ordinate the thousands of individuals and organisations across the nation who might be willing to look at their own surplus accommodation and provide direct assistance to refugees
(b) to implement appropriate measures to facilitate the speedy transfer of proportionate numbers of refugees to the UK and other countries across the EC.
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