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Councillor calls for refugee help

ALOCALcouncillor has asked Mendip District Council to join councils across the country to help rehome  refugees from the Middle East.

District councillor for the Frome College Ward, Adam Boyden, has proposed that official discussions start  as soon as next week to consider housing displaced Syrians in Frome and surrounding areas.

His proposal comes as David Cameron this week outlined Government plans to resettle more Syrian refugees here in Britain.

Cllr Boyden said, “It’s important that we seriously consider this; this is the biggest crisis of its kind since World War Two. It’s great that the Government has agreed to accept more refugees, but they all need places to go.

“Councils across the country are offering to help rehome people, and we should consider it here, too. It’s not as easy as offering a spare room, but people can help convince Mendip District Council to take action.”

Local authorities in Glasgow, Kingston, Birmingham and Edinburgh have already agreed to offer housing to refugees and there are campaigns ongoing in Stroud, Bristol and Cardiff to encourage local councils follow suit.

Cllr Boyden continued, “This movement will be more meaningful if local people make it known to the district and county council that they support the idea – it is the local authorities who have the power to decide.

“I know there are people in the area who want to help, and this isn’t the time to sit back and wait for someone else to do it. I personally don’t know anything about housing refugees and this isn’t something many people will have had to deal with, so it’s important to get our views across to the people who are able to take action.”

According to The Guardian over 4 million people have fled Syria in the four years since the war began. The crisis hit international headlines recently when newspapers published a photograph of a dead Syrian child on a beach in Turkey.

An estimated 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this summer, and there are hundreds of thousands of refugees entering Europe in search of safety – 18,000 arrived in Germany last weekend alone.

To join the local debate contact cllr Adam Boyden via