Andover Town Council has backed Lib Dem calls to call on the borough and county councils to take a more positive approach to welcoming refugees to Andover.
The motion proposed by Lib Dem Cllr Len Gates at the council’s October meeting was as follows –
- The current plight of thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria and other countries
- The legal obligations of the United Kingdom as a signatory of the 1951 United Nations Convention and its 1967 Protocol on Refugees
- The recent public petition calling on Test Valley Borough Council to welcome refugees to Andover, reflecting the humanity and Britishness of fellow Andoverians and
- The recent deplorable attempts by some journalists and politicians to demonise these refugees and refuse them help.
ATC calls on-
- Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to facilitate the reception, support, and integration of refugees into Andover
- Central government to extend financial support to local councils for the reception of refugees and their integration past the one-year point so that the more generous communities are not unduly financially penalised.
Len’s statement to the council meeting can be read in full here – Refugees speech.
Speaking after the meeting he said “I am appalled by some recent newspaper headlines and the behaviour of politicians seeking to demonise these innocent people. We should be taking our fair share of refugees in the spirit of decency and humanity and welcome them not begrudge them.”
“This country has a proud record in helping refugees; those who oppose doing so do not speak for me, my country or my town. Their arrogance, ignorance and selfishness have no place in our society. I am proud to see Andover join so many other towns in taking a lead in calling for a positive response to the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep.”