Bristol Green Councillors have added their voice to refugee organisations calling on the Mayor to take immediate action to ensure that Bristol plays its part in welcoming refugees to the city.
In a motion submitted to Full Council today, the Green Group called for Bristol to immediately pledge to take 50 refugees. This would form a starting point towards ensuring Bristol is hosting its share of refugees fleeing conflict.
‘Other cities such as Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh have already agreed to host 50 refugees.’ said Green Group Leader Councillor Rob Telford. ‘As a City of Sanctuary, Bristol must also play its part. I welcome the Mayor’s call for people to host refugees in their homes, but this is a sticking plaster for a much wider problem. Central government must provide the support that Councils need to be able to properly support people fleeing from persecution and war.’
Councillor Fi Hance, who sits on the steering committee of Bristol City of Sanctuary, said ‘I first approached the Mayor in January to ask him to take advantage of the government backed Syrian vulnerable persons relocation scheme. Whilst I am encouraged that officers are now looking into this situation, there is no time to waste. The Council urgently needs to search for suitable housing providers, which is currently proving to be the main stumbling block to good refugee provision.’
Councillor Anna McMullen, who has worked closely with refugee organisations in Bristol, added ‘It is appalling that the UK has only resettled 216 Syrian refugees in the past year. Germany has pledged to take at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year and other EU countries are losing patience with the way the UK Government are dragging their feet over helping those in desperate need of sanctuary.’
The motion will go to the Full Council meeting, which will take place on Tuesday 15th September.