Scarborough could be set to house refugees

A group of Syrians, Afghans and Palestinians has just arrived to the coast of Lesvos. Greece, September 7, 2015. Photo by Anna Pantelia/Depo Photos/ABACAPRESS.COM ... Refugees Arrives In Lesvos Island - Greece ... 08-09-2015 ... Lesvos Island ... Greece ... Photo credit should read: Depo Photos/ABACA. Unique Reference No. 24028309 ...
A group of Syrians, Afghans and Palestinians has just arrived to the coast of Lesvos. Greece, September 7, 2015. Photo by Anna Pantelia/Depo Photos/ABACAPRESS.COM ... Refugees Arrives In Lesvos Island - Greece ... 08-09-2015 ... Lesvos Island ... Greece ... Photo credit should read: Depo Photos/ABACA. Unique Reference No. 24028309 ...

Scarborough could be set to welcome Syrian refugees after a borough councillor said the town had a “moral obligation” to help those fleeing the conflict.

Officers from Scarborough Council will join others from around Yorkshire at a meeting next week where the Government will ask how many families each authority is willing to home.

Although no figures have yet been discussed it seems increasingly likely Scarborough will accept a number of refugees following the Government’s commitment to do its part to help ease the crisis following public pressure.

Speaking this week, cabinet member Cllr Bill Chatt told a Town Hall meeting that the whole county had to act.

He said: “We have had communication from the Government asking what the council’s position is with to legal refugees coming into this country.

“We are presently in talks and council officers will be attending a meeting [at North Yorkshire County Council next week] to see what that means very soon.

“From my position as a local cabinet member I would like to be sure that if we are going to take refugees into this area that they are supported.

“It is no good sending somebody here in isolation, no point putting them into areas where we know there is going to be trouble. We have to have a very planned out system to make sure that language is not a barrier, we have to be sure there is support in place to support people who are going to be coming to this area.

“So at this moment we are very early in these talks.”

Next week’s will involve representatives from the Home Office, who will tell the officials what they would need to do to house refugees.

He added: “We, and other councils, will be there to see what [the Government’s] offer is.

“This is not just an issue of what is right and what is wrong there is a moral reason why Yorkshire should be involved in this and I hope Yorkshire does get behind it.

“I hope they understand a refugee is someone fleeing harassment, harm or possibility of death, it is not the case of somebody coming over here to claim benefits.”