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Wiltshire Liberal Democrats urge local support for refugees

September 3, 2015 10:38 PM
.Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire have backed the call by Lib Dems in the Local Government Association urging local authorities across the country to show central government that they are ready and willing to offer to take in refugees fleeing persecution from the Middle East. But they have warned that the Government should have acted faster.

Cllr Chris White, Deputy Leader of the LGA Lib Dem Group, said: "The recent photos of drowned Syrian refugees are shocking. As a parent, it tears my heart out to see these images. Britain has a strong track record in working to support human rights across the world and fighting for values of tolerance and compassion. Local Government stands ready to help, but Central Government should be ashamed of itself for failing to work with other countries in addressing this issue earlier.

All local authorities should say how many refugees they will accept - and central government must say what it will do to make sure refugees get the funding needed".

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council and Chair of the LGA Lib Dem Group added:
"The United Kingdom cannot sit by and watch the suffering and death of refugees fleeing violence. Local authorities across the country should respond by taking in refugees. We have a moral and humanitarian duty to do so and I am sure other councils share my views.

"Sutton Council is already doing preparatory work in the hope that the government changes its stance on the situation in Europe and increases the number of refugees accepted by the UK.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire Cllr Jon Hubbard has called on the administration in Wiltshire to also declare that it is prepared to do its bit to support any refugees who end up in the county.

"Wiltshire needs to be ready to step in and support these people who are in desperate need. We need to follow the example of Lib Dem run Sutton Council and start the process now of being ready to help if and when Central Government finally agrees to do the right thing."