Harrogate responds to refugee crisis

7 September 2015

In April 2015, Harrogate Borough Council took a decision to not take refugees into the Harrogate District.

This decision is now being reviewed and the authority say that they are now actively looking at what they can do, given the current situation.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said Britain will accept 20,000 refugees, but there has been a call by some to take more – Yvette Cooper has said Britain should take up to 50,000.

Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said:

The situation in Syria is extremely distressing and it is important that the council does all it can to help.

The situation has significantly worsened since April and we are currently looking at what part we can play in the national effort that the prime minister has announced concerning the resettlement of refugees.

Harrogate Borough Council will be attending a meeting with North Yorkshire County Council and other authorities in the region to discuss how we can best support the national commitment to welcoming Syrian refugees.

The council has a history of helping the most vulnerable, such as the resettlement work we undertook with Kosovan refugees in the 1990s.

We have helped refugees before and we will help them again.

Sheryl Hudson and Louise Terzza will also be driving to Calais on Wednesday 23 September 2015, to deliver much needed refugee supplies to the distribution centre at the Calais Jungle camp gates.

Louisa said:

We are covering the £180 cost of this trip ourselves as we believe our money will go further this way.

We have been in touch with aid workers and they have advised us what items are needed and how we can deliver them.

There is a large distribution point at the jungle gates where new arrivals are given essentials. This way we know our/your donated items are going where they are needed.

A list of local drop off points will be pinned to the top of our Facebook page with drop off times and a list of items needed will also be listed there.

Drop off points are all open now (unless otherwise stated) – keep an eye on our page for details of the deadline for donations.

We also need keen volunteers from 2pm on Sunday 20 September to help us sort through and organise the donated items at Cedar Court Harrogate in their Willow Suite.

See https://www.facebook.com/harrogatetocalaisjungle for further details.

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