Refugees 'should be found homes in North Somerset'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 September 2015

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THE 'humanitarian crisis' could be eased if North Somerset Council pledged to find homes for 25 refugees and urged other authorities to do the same.

That is the view of North Somerset councillor Mike Bell, who sent an open letter to leader Nigel Ashton in response to the refugee crisis.

He said there is ‘huge pressure’ on housing in the district, and the council may need to be imaginative in finding places to house refugees.

But he added: “Doing nothing does not seem to me to be an acceptable option.”

In the letter, Cllr Bell said: “There is a clear need to do more to provide immediate relief and to stand shoulder to shoulder with other European countries who neighbour the affected region and are being most called upon to provide assistance.

“Local councils can play a small but important part in meeting this humanitarian crisis.

“If council leaders across the UK could commit to helping find homes for 25 refugees, we could transform the lives of 10,000 people in most need.

“I’m writing to urge you to instruct officers to contact the Government to offer support from North Somerset Council and indicate a willingness to play our part in helping refugees in need.

“This will help to send a signal that our community can and is willing to do more.

“I’d also urge you to use your influence within the Local Government Association to urge other authorities to follow North Somerset’s lead.”

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