The Liberal Democrat team on Shropshire Council is to ask councillors and officers to act urgently to help settle refugee families in our county. We are doing this because we do not believe that anyone, let alone a body with the expertise and resources of Shropshire Council, should stand idle while desperate refugees suffer and die as they flee war torn countries on the borders of Europe.
Our request comes in the form of a motion to the Shropshire Council meeting on 24 September. It will be proposed by Andy Boddington, councillor for Ludlow North, and seconded by Andrew Bannerman, councillor for Coton Hill and Quarry in Shrewsbury.
Andrew Bannerman says:
“We need to act quickly and flexibly. We are not suggesting that Shropshire takes in thousands of refugees. If we found homes for just ten families, that’s ten families rescued from a state of crisis.”
“Shropshire Council is a civic leader and has a lot of expertise. It should help shape our county’s response to this emergency. This crisis is not going to go away any time soon. Shropshire Council must play its part, as must all of us.”
Andy Boddington continues:
“It is a natural instinct to think that it is someone else’s responsibility to deal with a crisis. Other countries. Other organisations. Other people. But the reality is that it is everyone’s duty to deal with extraordinary suffering like this. As just one council, one volunteer group or one individual we perhaps can’t achieve a huge amount. But as hundreds of councils, thousands of volunteer groups and millions of people we can make a really big difference.”
“That’s why we will be asking Shropshire Council to back this motion at its next meeting. We are asking it to join councils, volunteer groups and individuals all over the country who are doing their bit to help refugees.”
- believes that we all have a moral responsibility to aid and resettle refugees
- it is the duty of the government and all councils to react to this humanitarian crisis by helping shelter families classified as refugees under 1951 Refugee Convention.
This council resolves:
- To recognise that it should join others in taking urgent action to help refugees.
- To set up and empower a politically balanced group of councillors. This will work with the Housing Options team and external organisations to take action to help refugees find a home and settle in Shropshire.
- To accept and discuss reports from the group at: the Cabinet meeting of 28 October 2015; Performance Scrutiny Committee; and full Council on 17 December 2015. The reports will state the group’s progressing conclusions; the actions that it has taken or proposes to take; and the actions the council has taken or is recommended to take.
- To instruct the Chief Executive to write to the county’s MPs and the prime minister to remind them of the UK’s moral responsibility to resettle many more refugees than currently proposed. The Chief Executive should seek guidance from the proposed group on the wording of his letter.
Proposed: Councillor Andy Boddington
Seconded: Councillor Andrew Bannerman