North Ayrshire Council response to Refugee Crisis

Today at full council SNP leader Willie Gibson set out the councils response to the humanitarian crisis in the following emergency motion supported by the North Ayrshire Labour group leader and passed unanimously:

“The magnitude of the present humanitarian crisis, the likes of which has not been seen since the second world war impels this council to act.  As the First Minister stated last week “we have a duty – as well as a moral and humanitarian obligation – to face up to our responsibilities and accept a fair and proportionate share of refugees” 

Violence, torture, rape, oppression, instability and persecution, can no longer be ignored.  These evils have driven many from their homes in Syria, Libya and Eritrea.  4 million Syrians alone have fled across the border to camps, while 6.5 million more in Syria are homeless.  A third of a million have tried to cross the Mediterranean in boats and at least 2600 have died in that journey.  There are over 348,000 asylum applications from Syrians in European countries.

We commend the work of local organisations, individuals and members in supporting charities providing aid to victims of this crisis.

Accordingly North Ayrshire council agrees to support the work of the Scottish government and Opposition parties to urge the UK Government to accept more refugees into the United Kingdom.  We commit to work with COSLA and Government to support refugees in coming to North Ayrshire.  Depending on family sizes, over a period of time we can offer accommodation and other support to 50 – 100 refugees.

Council agrees that a report is brought to cabinet detailing the up to date position on Government proposals, and outlining the support which council can provide to refugees.”

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