Lancaster and Morecambe’s plea to help support refugees

A group of Syrians, Afghans and Palestinians arriving in Greece.
A group of Syrians, Afghans and Palestinians arriving in Greece.

A petition which has gathered thousands of signatures was presented to MPs and city councillors asking to welcome, support and accommodate a fair share of refugees locally and nationally.

Members of 38 degrees campaign group and local residents collected the signatures to support the motion put forward by Lancaster City councillors Rebecca Novell and Sam Armstrong.

I hope we are able to help our neighbours, whatever the distance between us

Coun Rebecca Novell

The petition handed over to Lancaster MP Cat Smith before the full council meeting on Wednesday gathered 1,600 signatures.

Coun Novell said: “The people of Lancaster and Morecambe and surrounding areas have already demonstrated their desire to help.

“We have shown generosity already, the petition handed gathered 1,600 signatures in just two weeks.

“I hope we are able to help our neighbours, whatever the distance between us.

“The phrase long term is important as we need to support people who will be going through so much trauma that will take years of hard work to rebuild their lives.”

Lancaster City Council will call on the government to work with Europe in order to establish and accept Britain’s share of refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

A commitment was also agreed to ensure refugees are welcomed in the district by working with local services to ensure housing, legal advice, trauma-recovery support and careers advice.

Lancaster City Council and Labour group leader, Coun Eileen Blamire, said: “We have all been shocked and deeply moved by the images of desperate refugees fleeing war zones.

“We feel that as a country we should be doing our bit to help and as a council we would be glad to welcome refugees to our district.

“We need to ensure we have the resources to support people and that is why we are calling upon the government to provide extra money to help us to do so.”