Posted: Wed 16th Sep 2015

Flintshire County Council will not turn it’s back to those facing a humanitarian crisis says Leader

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 16th, 2015

Flintshire County Council last week made an immediate and firm commitment to being part of the UK local government response to receiving refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.

In a statement released today September 15th Council Leader Aaron Shotton said:

“As we witness the unfolding tragedy of refugees fleeing war and persecution in search of sanctuary in Europe, it is imperative that Local Government across Wales takes action to provide safety and shelter for refugees displaced from Syria and other nations. Flintshire County Council will not turn its back on those facing a humanitarian crisis.

“Local government is awaiting the publication of the new UK Government scheme for refugee dispersal and support.

“The Council has set up a response group, led by the Chief Executive, and is working with and advising the Welsh Local Government Association who are co-ordinating the ‘regional’ response, with Welsh Government, on behalf of Wales. The response group is a multi-agency one and includes Flintshire Local Voluntary Council.

“Local government expects the scheme to be fully funded at a national level”.

Chief Executive, Colin Everett said:

“In Flintshire we plan to receive a number of families each year. The families would be housed and supported in private rented housing with no direct impact on waiting lists and times for Council and social housing. The bigger challenge will be to integrate children into schools with full language and curriculum support, and to integrate families into local communities remembering that people will be mentally and emotionally scarred by the experience and will be in need of empathy and support.

“At this stage we have no timetable for the admission of the first refugees into the United Kingdom, so can only plan.”

From 4th September:

The horrific images splashed across the front pages of newspapers this week of tiny Aylan Kurdi the 3-year-old Syrian boy whose body was washed up on a beach near Turkish holiday resort Bodrum has prompted a huge global outpouring of sympathy, anger and reaction.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 17.42.39

He drowned along with his brother, his mother and nine others who were trying to cross in two small boats to the Greek island of Kos just a few kilometres away.

Pressure has been growing on the UK Government to offer more support and accept a greater number of refugee’s into the country.

The head of the United Nations’ refugee agency, Antonio Guterres, called today for the European Union to mobilise its “full force” to help the migrants.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron said accepting more people was not the simple answer to the situation.

However today, Mr Cameron said the UK is to provide resettlement to “thousands” more Syrian refugees in response to the worsening humanitarian crisis, although numbers aren’t clear.

He also announced a further £100m in humanitarian aid for those in camps in Syria, Turkey, Jordan and the Lebanon.

Council Leader Aaron Shotton

Talking about Flintshire County Council’s response to the growing crisis Council Leader Aaron Shotton said:

“As we witness the unfolding tragedy of refugees fleeing war and persecution in search of sanctuary in Europe. It is imperative that Local Government across Wales takes action to provide safety and shelter for refugees displaced from Syria and other nations. Flintshire County Council will not turn it’s back to those facing a humanitarian crisis.”
‘The Council is currently working with national partners to offer direct assistance and will be taking a full part in a ‘united approach’ by councils and housing aid agencies and voluntary sector partners across Wales and the UK to both provide refuge and humanitarian support for refugees.

Councilor Shotton added.

The Welsh Local Government Association is coordinating the work of councils in Wales, and the extent of the support we need to offer will become clearer over the coming days.

‘We encourage the communities of Flintshire both to support our stance and to donate money and supplies to the charitable work of the leading national aid agencies.’

More than 300,000 refugees and migrants have used the dangerous sea route across the Mediterranean so far this year with almost 200,000 of them landing in Greece and a further 110,000 in Italy.

The UN refugee agency said the figures so far this year represent a large increase from last year, when around 219,000 people crossed the Mediterranean during the whole of 2014.

More than 2,500 refugees and migrants are estimated to have died or gone missing this year, trying to reach Europe.

Four million Syrians have now been displaced due to the conflict in the country and its impact on the surrounding region resulting in the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two as been described by some.

 

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