Tory-led councils urged to find homes for Syrian refugees

Leaders of Tory-led councils have been implored to put up Syrian refugees for a year in their towns and villages.

By Tom Burton
Thursday, 3rd September 2015, 11:46 am
Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis

The idea has been put forward by Conservative leader of Kingston Council, Kevin Davis, who felt ‘compelled to act’ in light of the refugee crisis in Europe.

He wants 50 Tory-led councils across the UK to join him in giving 2,500 refugees ‘hope, refuge and a chance of life’.

The number equates to 50 refugees per authority.

Mr Davis hopes councils will soon sign up to the scheme run by UNHCR - the UN refugee agency - to help find private housing for them.

It is estimated that there are 320,000 refugees who need to be resettled but only a small percentage found sanctuary in the UK last year. Mr Davis says this must change.

In his letter, he said: “The UK gave sanctuary to just 90 refugees in 2014. When charity Citizens UK told me about this situation, I felt compelled to act.

“So, I am supporting their efforts to increase the number of refugees resettled in the UK to 2,500 by asking 50 local councils to pledge to take 50 refugees each.”

Mr Davis stressed that it will cost the council and taxpayers ‘nothing’ to offer people a refuge for the first 12 months because the money to support them comes from the Home Office and the European Union.

Kingston Council - along with Malvern, Birmingham and Westminster - has already pledged its support and Mr Davis hopes to soon receive emails of commitment from many other councils.