Plans to welcome refugees to Kirklees taking shape

jean calvert

Plans are progressing to be able to accept a number of refugees in Kirklees.

Cabinet members and officers are involved in regional meetings to ensure that the area is prepared when the refugees begin to arrive.

Deputy Leader of Kirklees Council Cllr Jean Calvert said:


At this stage we are planning for a number of circumstances. We do not know whether we will receive families, adults, children or even how many.

But we have answered this need in the past, and we are committed to doing so again. We are expecting to hear more from government over the course of the next few days.

I am pleased that so many local people and charities have offered help, and while we would not say do not donate, we cannot be specific at the moment about the kind of help we will need. I would like to express my thanks to the voluntary sector for their work so far.

It is heartening to see that so many local groups have organised collections – we are working with the voluntary and community groups to ensure that what they have collected can be used to best effect.”

Councils across Yorkshire have stepped up to take in refugees, and discussions are now taking place on a regional basis.

In his statement to the House of Commons on Monday, the Prime Minister announced that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of the Parliament. Discussions on funding and support for councils who take in refugees are still taking place.

Cllr Calvert added:

Among the refugees there are heart-breaking stories of real tragedy. We have a strong track record of helping and supporting those of us who have come to us in desperate need, and I am confident that Kirklees residents will again play their part to ensure this strong tradition continues.”

refugee statement

Kirklees respond to refugee crisis

refugee statementCllr Erin Hill, our Cabinet Member with responsibility for Family Support and Child Protection has issued a statement in response to the refugee crisis:

“People are escaping countries and regimes where some of the worst human rights abuses in the world take place, and where war, hunger, absolute poverty and fear are constant. We must work with national government, faith communities and aid agencies to respond to what is now a humanitarian crisis. Together we have to find a way, collectively, to respond quickly and provide proper support for refugees.

“In and amongst the international politics are real human tragedies. Many refugees have seen parents, siblings and children die in front of them, either as a result of conditions and atrocities in their homeland, or of the difficult journey to Europe.

“This is not a debate about open door immigration. It is about us providing a home – as Britain has done in the past – to desperate refugees. People don’t undertake such incredibly dangerous journeys to Europe unless they have absolutely no other option.

“Kirklees is committed wholeheartedly to supporting these efforts. We are currently looking at practical ways we can assist with this crisis. There will be a point where, perhaps through the Local Government Association, we have to ask government for help with the costs, but that time is not right now. Our efforts now must be to offer the safe haven these desperate families need.”