Burntwood Labour councillor blasts refugee “scaremongering” by UKIP

A Burntwood Labour councillor has accused UKIP of “scaremongering” over the refugee crisis.

An online petition has been set up calling on Lichfield District Council to offer housing to 10 families.

The campaign has been criticised by UKIP’s chairman Peter Cope, Lichfield District Councillor John Mills and Staffordshire County Councillor Jeff Sheriff.

Cllr Diane Evans

Cllr Diane Evans

But Cllr Diane Evans, Labour representative for Boney Hay and Central, said UKIP were trying to stir up fear among local residents.

She said: “I believe if Lichfield District Council are asked to take in refugees then we should accommodate them.

“I think the comments from UKIP really are scaremongering. They are merely trying to turn local residents against refugees.

“These people have been through situations that none of us can imagine. I think it is important for society in general to accept that we need like the rest of the country to take in our fair share of refugees.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed that the United Kingdom should resettle 20,000 displaced Syrians by 2020.

Chancellor George Osborne has announced some of the United Kingdom’s £12 billion Foreign Aid budget will be used to help local authorities house refugees.

Cllr Colin Greatorex, Cabinet member for housing and health at Lichfield District Council, said the authority is ready to play its part.

He added: “We have been told by the Home Office that they are exploring options of how to disperse refugees across the country.

“We believe other councils in Staffordshire have also been contacted.

“While we don’t have any council housing, we will work with our housing association partners and other partners to provide support and assistance as required.”

The Green Party have called for the UK to take in almost a quarter-of-a-million refugees.

The party’s Lichfield and Burntwood branch spokesman Simon Partridge said politicians of all political persuasions needed to respond with compassion.

“People are not leaving their countries because they don’t like their homes – they are fleeing war and persecution.

“Our response to the crisis has been to call on the Prime Minister to take in more refugees, because we’re a caring party who cares deeply about all people.”

Advertisements
NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.

Leave a Reply