Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Green councillor calls on Reading Council to welcome refugees

Rob White refugees welcomeGreen councillor Rob White has written to the leader of the council asking her to take immediate action to ensure that Reading plays its part in welcoming refugees.

In a letter sent today, the Green Group leader called for Reading to immediately pledge to take 50 refugees. This would form a starting point towards ensuring Reading is hosting its share of refugees fleeing conflict.

Rob White, Green group leader said: "seeing the tragic pictures of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan drowned and washed up on the beach, and other people in desperate situations brought me to tears recently.

"It is appalling that the UK has only resettled 216 Syrian refugees in the past year. Germany has pledged to take at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year and other EU countries are losing patience with the way the UK Government are dragging their feet over helping those in desperate need of sanctuary. Central government must provide the funding that Councils need to be able to properly support people fleeing from persecution and war.

"Cities such as Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh have already agreed to host 50 refugees. Reading must show we are a caring town and we must play our part."

In his letter Rob White also asked about the future of Reading Refugee Support Group who do an excellent job locally of working with refugees. Earlier in the year they got a last-minute reprieve from a 50% reduction in their grant while a review was conducted.

Rob added: "Reading Refugee Support Group do a brilliant job locally supporting refugees in many ways. I know that the council is looking at cutting grants to the voluntary sector in half. Reading council needs to join with other councils across the country and stand up to the government's cruel austerity agenda to preserve vital services like this."

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