Tag: refugees

Ludlow and other towns open for donations for Afghan refugees

Across the county, collections points have opened for donations of clothing and other items for Afghan refugees. Locally, Nicola North has once again stepped up to help with the latest refugee crisis. You can drop donations at Sheet Farm, Sheet Road, Ludlow SY8 4JT. Please contact Nicola beforehand for advice where to drop your donations (01584 878528) or contact her on Facebook or Messenger. A list of items needed is below, along with other drop off points across Shropshire.

Urgent call for properties in Ludlow to house Afghan refugees (updated)

Shropshire Council has joined more than 100 councils across the UK that have informed the government it will accept refugees from the current crisis and support them. Shropshire has a good track record in rehousing refugees. This crisis, like so many others, has moved so many of us to tears. Even more so with yesterday’s events at the gates of Kabul International Airport. The arrival of refugees is not a tomorrow crisis. It is a today crisis. The first refugees have arrived in the UK and thousands more will continue to arrive for days, perhaps for weeks. One of the first cohorts arrived in Hertfordshire and the local community reaction has been inspiring. What we need now is housing. It is a good deal for landlords. The government covers costs and the refuges get state support. However, offers of single rooms and shared accommodation are ruled out. Given the pressure on social housing only private lets have been previously considered but this time the council is asking its arm’s length housing association STAR to look for housing.

A rather unpleasant row has blown up over comments made by Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting on BBC Radio Shropshire earlier in the week. Speaking on why the council is struggling to balance its budget, he said that ten child refugees had been taken into care, claiming they have cost the council £1 million. He identified the nationality of the children. This was careless talk that could turn public attitudes against supporting vulnerable young people. It was also dangerous talk that could threaten the youngsters themselves.

We are a #RefugeesWelcome town and county – update on the refugee crisis

The response to my last newsletter and online posts on the refugee crisis has been overwhelming positive. Most people want Shropshire and Ludlow to provide a safe haven for refugees. There have of course been those that do not agree. They say we should look after ourselves before others. They say the refugee crisis is a problem for other countries, not ours. These people I can number on one hand. Many more people want to help and are already helping. It has been is a heartfelt and encouraging reaction. Across Ludlow, Shropshire and the entire country people are organising collections, offering accommodation and suggesting ways they can support refugees. Shropshire Council has set up a working party to look at what it can do. No one is suggesting that a large number of refugees should arrive in our county. We have been talking about maybe ten families, though I think we could take more. Ten families will increase the number households in Shropshire by 0.00008%. It is just a one in thirteen thousand increase in households.[1] To put this statistic in perspective, we have around 1,500 long-term empty homes in Shropshire. Ludlow action #RefugeesWelcome meeting: 1 October. A public meeting…

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#RefugeesWelcome: Our county and country steps up a gear – it’s welcome but is it enough?

Is it enough? People will have different views on today’s announcement by David Cameron that Britain will take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years. My view is that it is a good start. This maximum may well need to be reviewed upwards when we get more details of responses from other EU countries. Some are taking more refugees faster. Others seemingly reticent to recognise their role in this humanitarian crisis. Cameron’s proposal is for 4,000 refugees a year. My reading of the numbers and understanding of the crisis, and I am far from an expert, is that we will need to take more than 4,000 in the first year to ease the inevitable problems as the coming winter closes in. That will mean a step change in the central and local government bureaucracy we have for taking in refugees, finding them homes and support, and assessing their asylum applications. Here in Shropshire, the issue will be discussed at an informal (aka private) meeting of the council’s cabinet on Wednesday. Council leader Keith Barrow has issued a statement. It is quite brief so I quote it here in full. Shropshire Council has yet to formally make decisions concerning refugees,…

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