Refugee families could be in Lichfield and Burntwood “early in the New Year”

Refugees from Syria could be coming to Lichfield and Burntwood after Staffordshire County Council pledged to take in 50 families.

The authority hopes some will arrive early next year after reaching agreement with borough and district councils.

A Syrian refugee camp. Pic: Cmacauley

A Syrian refugee camp. Pic: Cmacauley

The council has also set up a task force to help settle people across the county.

Cabinet member Mike Lawrence said: “This is about helping those refugees in the greatest need including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of torture and women and children most and risk and as a county we want to do what we can to help.

“We have pledged to take 50 refugees initially and, although there are lots of logistical details to sort out, we would hope to see some of these families arrive early in the New Year.”

Cllr Lawrence added that the council would be working with the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership and local councils to finalise proposals and the locations for refugees moving into the county.

Lichfield District Council leader Mike Wilcox had previously said the area was willing to take in families.

“We are committed to assist where we are able,” he said.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

55 Comments

  1. Rob

    30th October, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    They may as well board a few in Burntwood library if the lights are to be kept on while the building is empty. Or is this one of the effects of the “savage cuts”?

  2. Thornton

    30th October, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    What a non-story. Why are you trying to emulate the Daily Mail with their sensational articles and to try and drum up tension? Why not come up with news worth reading?

  3. Nomad

    1st November, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I was led to believe the intention was to house 10 refugee families,suddenly as if by magic its 50 ,can we please have councilors who get there facts right ,god help us with the prospect of a Combined Local Authority still on the cards ,which personally I feel is more EUvolution than devolution .

  4. Ross

    1st November, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    It is 50 across the county with no figures yet decided on exactly where

  5. Thornton

    1st November, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I hope they all have the chance to be homed in Lichfield. It could do with a little more diversity.

  6. Nomad

    2nd November, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not sure of the waiting list in Lichfield for housing ,nationally there as some 130 thousand needing accommodation including ex-service men and women ,with Lichfield being the birthplace of the Staffordshire regiment wouldn’t Lichfield be better suited as an epicenter for housing injured service personnel

  7. Dave Simcox

    6th November, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I would like to think that, as and when Lichfield District receives refugees, we make them welcome and help them to settle in.

  8. Rob

    14th November, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    From BBC rolling news:

    Syrian passport holder passed through Greece – minister
    Posted at 16:38

    A Greek government minister says the holder of a Syrian passport found at the scene crossed into the European Union through the Greek island of Leros in October.

    Deputy public order minister Nikos Toskas, said in a statement:

    On the case of the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terrorist attack, we announce that the passport holder passed from Leros on October 3 where he was identified based on EU rules … We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder likely passed.

    You make them welcome and help them settle in if you want to.

  9. Toast of Lichfield

    16th November, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Here come the rightwing knee-jerks…

  10. theaardvark

    16th November, 2015 at 9:30 am

    If a passport was found it’s because ISIS wanted it to be found. They want you to think this, whether it’s true or not. They want you to react like this, to generate a “the West vs Islam” narrative that helps them to recruit. Every time you react like this, you’re helping them to get stronger.

  11. Mark

    16th November, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Whatever ISIS want us to believe, the fact of the matter is they are making good on their promise to smuggle terrorists in to Europe amongst refugees. The attack in Paris is the first instance offering proof of this. Not only this – the current open boarder policy seems to be allowing the relative ease of movement of assault weapons/explosives and rocket launchers across Europe along with their would be users.
    We have no way of knowing how many more there are/will be. The fact is that the Prime Minister has just this morning announced 7 plots have been foiled in the UK so far this year – there is no denying the threat posed.
    The solution in terms of protecting the EU AND offering safety to genuine refugees is to end the illegal entry to Europe and take only the most vulnerable women and children from camps bordering Syria.

  12. Cearbhaill

    16th November, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    ‘….right wing knee jerks….’ I like what you’ve done there. Anyhow, one cannot seem to raise a whisper of concern regarding so called ‘refugees’ without being accused by the ‘enlightened’ of being ‘right wing!’, Fascist!, Nazi! Or even the dreaded life shattering ’R’ word. If the media used the phrase ‘extreme Left’ as many times as they do ‘extreme right’ then I’ll believe we have an unbiased media, but I won’t hold my breath. I expect lots of thumbs down, ha-ha!

  13. Laurence Skermer

    16th November, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Bu it’s not a “whisper of concern” is it? I do not consider myself left wing, but I do have sufficient compassion to want to help those in need. Blanketing them all as potential terroists is not only patently absurd, but also, as Mark points out, exactly what ISIS want. Are there problems with the current flow of migrants and refugees? Yes of course; does this mean we should turn them all away? No. Remember that a number of the participants in Friday’s atrocity were already resident in France and Belgium; those who perpetrated the 7/7 bombings here were home grown. Villifying all refugees as terroists is not a solution and can only increase the problem.

  14. Toast of Lichfield

    16th November, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    “Close the borders!” “Don’t let them refugeerists in!” “This is France’s own fault!” – it’s all the same right-wing rhetoric, and despite being a dirty stinking leftie, my views are shared by people across the board. It’s not as simple as pointing blame at those poor souls displaced from their home country by ISIS and al-Assad, saying “well I told you so, wouldn’t have happened if…” – that just wont’ wash.
    As theaardvark so smartly points out, your right-wing views just put fuel on the fire of terrorism’s hatred for the West, whether you like it or not.

  15. Mark

    16th November, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Left wing/ right wing debate aside – the fact remains that the current situation is not being managed properly in the interests of anyone – European populations OR genuine refugees. It is right to debate this!

    It is again no secret that the current movement of people is being exploited by those with other agendas (whether economic/ideological or otherwise) to the detriment of those who truly need help. We know there is a huge black market for Syrian passports, we already have reports that passports with identical details to the one found at the scene of the Paris attacks have been registered several times at entry points to Europe. Syrians, whilst they may be the biggest single nationality, are actually a relatively small proportion of the total ‘refugee’ makeup (c25%).
    Accepting in such numbers those who have the physical and monetary attributes to travel many 1000’s of miles and in doing so reducing our ability to accept those who cannot make the journey means that we are not helping those truly in dire need.
    Like it or not even Europe has finite economic/logistic/infrastructure/housing/social resources. The problem with the current system is that it relies on Germany keeping the boards open. At some point in the not too distant future I suspect these will have to close – at which point there could be trouble!
    Think the UK government approach is spot on!

  16. Cearbhaill

    16th November, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Mark is more or less correct in his summing up of the whole sorry situation.

    ISIS had openly warned that they were going to get terrorists into Europe under the guise of ‘refugees’-they were serious about that statement as Friday’s events confirm.

    @Toast, just have a re-read at my last comment and tell me how I have used ‘right wing rhetoric? And how these so called ‘views’, ‘fan the flame of terrorism’. What the heck are you on about?

  17. Rob

    16th November, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    @Cearbhaill
    Toast’s response is the default position of the smug left, don’t waste logic or reason on it.

  18. AgitatorofPeople

    18th November, 2015 at 8:53 am

    ISIS are winning this war if you believe that all refugees are terrorists.
    How else were they going to get terrorists into target countries, fly them 1st class from Syria? They have carried out an attack, and got the response they wanted, an instant increase of air strikes, more people flee Syria and that wave of humanity heads for Europe, which then tightens up border security causing a humanitarian aid crisis for refugees and makes Europe look bad an evil society because we bomb them and don’t care what happens to refugees afterwards. In the meantime back in Syria/Iraq where there is little news coverage or access to internet media, we look like the killers, and ISIS the heroes, saying “join our Jihad” fight those who bomb you. ISIS wins.
    So think hard before labelling every refugee with the terrorism tag.

  19. Paul

    18th November, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Refugees from Syria are fleeing similar situations, and similar people, to those that Paris experienced last week. The difference is, if you live in London or Paris, you experience those events every few years. If you live in Syria, you experience them every day.

  20. Dave

    18th November, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I offer no opinion – I would simply encourage anyone to read around as many sources as possible outside of what we hear in the mainstream media…

  21. Nomad

    20th November, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I’ve been talking to few Lichfield residents over the last few days at the prospect of the city having refugees and overall its been a resounding NO.Shouldn’t the powers that be listen to the public, rather than make decisions for them.

  22. FiveSpiresLive

    20th November, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    The “powers that be” are elected by the people (well, by those who can be bothered) to make decisions on their behalf. Staffordshire as a county is earmarked for 50 families, hardly an invasion and none of whom I predict will be inclined to self-detonation.

  23. Cearbhaill

    20th November, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Your prediction about ‘self-detonation (within the law of average) is probably correct. However, all your universalism and fairness will account for nothing if only one of the 20-50 thousand coming to the UK proves to be a little bit naughty. I predict that not one of them will agree with the ideals that you/we hold dear, particularly regarding Women’s and homosexual equality.

  24. Jordan

    21st November, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    While I agree that all refugees should be helped (if they truly are that), Lichfield and Burntwood shouldn’t be on the list, they are too small and there is not enough housing, meaning our greenbelt would be destroyed to make room. I’m sorry, but I love burntwood for its countryside and it’s diversity of wildlife due to this, surely there is somewhere more suitable than an already overpopulated area?

  25. Rob

    22nd November, 2015 at 12:08 am

    I’m sure I read back in the summer that Mr & Mrs Balls pledged to take in a refugee family in one of their flip-flopping houses.
    Maybe the ever vocal “leader” of “Lichfield’s Labour Group” will overcome her inherent reticence and provide us mildly interested spectators with a progress report on this admirable humanitarian exercise?

  26. Sue woodward

    22nd November, 2015 at 9:33 am

    No point in responding in any rational way to the rabidly unpleasant Rob. If he can be so constantly offensive about anyone associated with a political party outside his experience, how could he ever have sympathy for a foreigner fleeing violence?

  27. Rob

    22nd November, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Believe me, your political party is not outside my experience, oh that it were.
    Anyway, you’ve failed to answer the question and attempted to introduce strawmen about sympathy for foreigners fleeing violence. Any particular reason for that?

  28. Nomad

    23rd November, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I think in the light of this mornings news, that the third stadium bomber came through as a refugee it should be a no brainer even for the loony left ,keep them out .

  29. Darryl

    23rd November, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    How is it a “strawman” Rob? It’s categorically a fact that Syrians are fleeing because of violence.

    Even is one of the terrorist of the Paris atrocities came through Greece, that’s an infinitesimally small number to the total refugees who didn’t commit any crimes.

    Why would you tarnish a whole group of people other than to compound you’re burgeoning xenophobia?

  30. Rob

    23rd November, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    @ Darryl
    It’s a strawman because she’s attempted to divert the issue towards my lack of “sympathy for foreigners fleeing violence” (which is no-one’s business but my own) rather than answer my question about the Balls’ pledge to take in a refugee family.

    I see you’ve carried this tactic forward with reference to my “burgeoning xenophobia” which I’m sure you’ll be keen to highlight examples of in this thread.

  31. Rob

    14th December, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    I mean, who doesn’t have a few clips of torture, beheadings and executions on their mobile these days? We all need a bit of escapism while waiting at the doctors or the barbers:
    http://www.thelocal.no/20150324/norway-police-find-torture-clips-on-refugee-phones
    Burgeoning xenophobia I call it ……………

  32. Rob

    7th January, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Speaking of New Year, future celebrations could be interesting, to say the least, if recent events in Cologne and other German cities are anything to go by.
    It’ll no doubt be the fault of the “west” of course.

  33. Rob

    8th January, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Keep voting me down (like I care) and carry on ignoring the reality on the altar of the multi-culti utopia:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/cologne-sex-attacks-something-terrible-took-place-here-but-its-a/

  34. Cearbhaill

    9th January, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    @ Rob, a ‘thumbs down’ is all that they have left in their arsenal. They are caught in the dilemma of reality and woo-woo land.

  35. Thornton

    9th January, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    There would be something considerably wrong with society if people didn’t have differing opinions on this so while I disagree with Rob entirely, I do respect his concerns. I believe Lichfield of all places, being such an important religious City should offer help to these people in need and have no doubt whatsoever that it will.

    I’d also like to point out the absurdity of some people not wanting to help Syrian refugees whom some are fleeing persecution when our very own patron saint St George was himself a persecuted Syrian.

  36. Aaron

    9th January, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I happened to come across this article and without going into what’s already happened, the question I have to ask is where are we going to put these “refugees”? No private or public landlord wants to take them in as they already have more than enough people on the waiting list as it is and it would be extremely racist and problematic for the people already on the list to be shoved to the back of the queue.

  37. Thornton

    10th January, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    @Aaron. There will be speacially built homes im guessing, going by the more recent post.

  38. Rob

    10th January, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    You can’t help wondering how many other inconvenient attrocities have been censored and airbrushed out of history to suit the agenda of the liberal elite.
    http://www.dw.com/en/reports-asylum-seekers-among-cologne-attacks-suspects/a-18966406
    The Guardian and BBC have only belatedly and begrudgingly acknowledged the events that took place, imagine the difference if the perpetrators had been white european males. Unfortunately, it seems the lessons of Rotherham, Oxford and Rochdale, to name but three, have not been learned and the intention by the authorities was to repeat the same mistakes.
    Compare and contrast the shrill outporing of shock and outrage by the sisterhood over Chris Gayle’s amorous attempts with a female TV reporter and their complete silence over what I’d have thought most people would regard as a much more serious and dangerous issue.
    Meanwhile our own Parliament is about to debate whether Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the country, when they don’t even know who else is coming in, or what their intentions are.

  39. Thornton

    13th January, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Er… Why do i seem to be getting so many thumbs down for mearly stating that refugees will have specially built homes? It’s a fact and it’s also something I support. Very strange.

  40. Aaron

    13th January, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    @Thornton – The reason I would expect you are getting red arrowed is simply because building houses specifically for immigrants and putting them in the houses, rather than the people who actually need and want them is a bit racist. I’m sorry to say that. We should do something, but putting them ahead of the people already on the lists doesn’t help anyone and just creates unneeded tension.

  41. Thornton

    13th January, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    @Aaron. I see, so people aren’t giving ‘me’ a thumbs down but rather expressing their disagreement with whats happening.

  42. Rob

    13th January, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Istanbul is an important religious city too, even more important than Lichfield according to some. It hasn’t stopped one going off though:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/13/turkey-says-istanbul-suicide-bomber-entered-country-as-refugee

  43. Toast of Lichfield

    14th January, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Thornton: I suspect the heavy down-voting on your post was due to the atrociously bad use of English in said comment.

  44. Aaron

    14th January, 2016 at 10:36 am

    @Thornton. I would also expect that some people don’t agree with your comment of building houses specifically for migrants, when we have our own local people in need of housing

  45. Nomad

    14th January, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Thornton is evidently the grammar police of this site,yet has nothing constructive or otherwise to add.

  46. Thornton

    14th January, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    In terms of grammar Toast, get over yourself, I’m on an ipad with its rediculously bad auto correct turned off.

  47. Thornton

    14th January, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    To be honest, i’d rather Lichfield let in one suicide bomber if it meant helping 19,9999 innocent Syrians.

  48. Cearbhaill

    15th January, 2016 at 1:40 am

    @ Thornton,
    That’s an incredible statement that you have just made. Read it again please and and have a think about the crudity and immaturity of it.

  49. Toast of Lichfield

    15th January, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Biffers gonna biff.

  50. Thornton

    15th January, 2016 at 11:44 am

    There’s nothing crude nor immature about it. If Lichfield council were to accidentally house just one terrorist while also housing 19,999 innocent refugees are you saying that it’s worth not trying to help any of them as the risk out ways the benefit? I think that would be very inhumane.

  51. Cearbhaill

    15th January, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    @ Thornton,
    You are simply larping matey, I’m not going to join you in your little fantasy.

  52. Thornton

    15th January, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    @ Cearbhaill
    It’s not a fantasy though is it? It’s a simple ethical situation. If you disagree with it and believe the risk is too great then that’s fine but these are things that some people have to decide upon.

  53. AgitatorofPeople

    15th January, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Wow, this really is coming down to “first world” problems, and how mean and barbaric some of the postings are, most of the opposition comes down to this “Somebody else in Lichfield/Staffs will have to deal with this and I don’t like it”. Having worked with the UNHCR in Bosnia and seen first hand the attrocities that people like these Syrians are living with everyday, you would not hesitate to take in families who are surviving on boiled water with some remaining spices heated by burning plastic bags as there is no wood left, they aren’t leaving because it would be a bit of a wheeze to go to Europe, they are been killed or facing the sort of atrocities that would make your skin crawl. Go sit in your garden tonight under a piece of plastic and see how you get on with no hot food, then times that by 365 and imagine everybody you see might kill you and your family, thats their reality.
    Don’t get sucked in by the politicking of people running with their own ideological agendas on using terrorism for their own gain, use your head, join humanity and be part of the fix.

  54. Rob

    16th January, 2016 at 11:59 am

    “most of the opposition comes down to this “Somebody else in Lichfield/Staffs will have to deal with this and I don’t like it”. ”
    No it doesn’t.
    Put your effort into resolving the existing problems in Syria instead of creating new ones here. You go sit in your garden if you want to, even polish that halo while you’re about it.