**** Press Release – UKIP West Cumbria, UKIP County Chair and UKIP Westmorland and Lonsdale ****
CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL TO TAKE 285 SYRIAN REFUGEES
Cumbria County Council have determined to resettle 285 Syrian refugees – apparently without a mandate from the Cumbrian people to do so.
Issuing a joint statement, UKIP West Cumbria chairman David Wilson, UKIP Westmorland & Lonsdale chairman David Walker, and UKIP County chair Fiona Mills said today:
” UKIP wholeheartedly supports helping genuine refugees. However, we also believe in making sure that public consultation on such issues is completed and the results heard, especially where it impacts on the availability of social housing.
Cumbria is suffering from hospital cuts, council service cuts and closures, bus service cuts, people using food banks and more. Our public infrastructure is in a terrible state and our jobs market is depressed. Yet Cumbria County Council has taken this decision without apparently asking the people of Cumbria if they agree.
This is a slap in the face for all homeless people in Cumbria as well as those who have spent years on social housing waiting lists.
Cumbria County Council has apparently forgotten that this country is supposed to run as a democracy. Councillors are elected to spend their time ‘serving the people of Cumbria’. They are not elected to do what they please once in post and certainly not take such high profile and emotive decisions without referring them back to the people.
We would also push for assurance that refugees are properly vetted for safety and security reasons, and that there is a properly constructed plan in place so that refugees can be returned to Syria once things are stable and safe again.
Last year, in 2015, the Midlands and North of England took most of the refugees, with (predictably) almost none going to the leafy Conservative shires in the south and east of England. Surely the government should be diverting their considerable foreign aid budget – which we pay for – to helping Syrians rebuild their country, instead of passing the burden on to this country’s local authorities?
A detailed Freedom of Information request has been lodged with Cumbria County Council regarding this decision and our UKIP branches will consider what they have to say very carefully.
If you elect UKIP councillors (and MPs), you can be assured they will fight for the right of every citizen to have their voice heard over important county-wide matters such as this one.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The full report on this decision is given below:
In 2015, the Daily Express reported on the unfair nature of the refugee resettlement programme, where poorer communities in the Midlands and the North of England bore the brunt of the placements. By contrast, almost no refugees have been placed into the wealthier Conservative shires which have the infrastructure and economy to make resettlement more successful. A full report can be found here.
Any questions should be directed to the UKIP West Cumbria Press and Social Media Officer, Beverley Nash, on 07784 847815 or preferably on email@example.com
This press release has been approved by UKIP NW regional office.