On Tuesday, 29 September, Poole Council passed the following motion regarding refugees:
- Council welcomes the statement made by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron that the UK will take in 20,000 refugees from camps in countries neighbouring Syria over the remainder of this Parliament.
- Council recognises the severity of the current refugee crisis and wishes to do what it can to help.
- Council acknowledges the importance of Syrian refugees being granted 5 year humanitarian protection visas, allowing access to public funds, the labour market, and potentially family reunion.
- Council commends the support offered by local communities which have offered aid including accommodation. Council will suport communities to coordinate these offers via the Regional Strategic Migration Partnership.
- Council would wish to minimise the pressure on the local authority and communities by balancing the needs of local residents who have housing, health and educational requirements with those of refugee families.
- Council pledges to work with all interested parties ...
This motion was signed by Conservative Councillors Mrs Rampton, Mrs Walton, Parker, Rampton, Burden, Mellor, Gupta, Challinor, and Mrs Haines.
The Council defeated the following motion on the same topic:
- Council notes that over 6 million people have been displaced in Syria ...
- Council believes that the UK should be resettling more Syrian refugees ...
- Council therefore resolves to write to the relevant authorities to offer to accept 10 Syrian refugee families and house them within the Borough.
- Council further resolves to seek funding from all possible sources ...
This motion was signed by opposition Councillors Brooke, Eades, Brown, Mrs Moore, Mrs Hodges, Hadley, M Le Poidevin, and Howell.
During the debate on the motions Cllr Howell (PPP) even proposed that Council pass a motion to require local residents with unoccupied or second homes in the Borough to make these properties available for occupation by refugee families.
Conservative Councillors argued strongly against this daft proposal. You can rely on us to defend your right to dispose of your property in any way you see fit, without coercion from politically motivated authorities.