Kirklees Council response to refugee crisis

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Kirklees Council has responded to the ongoing refuee crisis, with a councillor saying it is “committed wholeheartedly to supporting” them.

Cabinet member Coun Erin Hill, who is responsible for family support and child protection, made a statement on the council’s behalf.

She said: “People are escaping countries and regimes where some of the worst human rights abuses in the world take place, and where war, hunger, absolute poverty and fear are constant.

“We must work with national government, faith communities and aid agencies to respond to what is now a humanitarian crisis. Together we have to find a way, collectively, to respond quickly and provide proper support for refugees.

“In and amongst the international politics are real human tragedies. Many refugees have seen parents, siblings and children die in front of them, either as a result of conditions and atrocities in their homeland, or of the difficult journey to Europe.

“This is not a debate about open door immigration. It is about us providing a home – as Britain has done in the past – to desperate refugees.

“People don’t undertake such incredibly dangerous journeys to Europe unless they have absolutely no other option.

“Kirklees is committed wholeheartedly to supporting these efforts. We are currently looking at practical ways we can assist with this crisis.

“There will be a point where, perhaps through the Local Government Association, we have to ask government for help with the costs, but that time is not right now.

“Our efforts now must be to offer the safe haven these desperate families need.”