A RALLYING cry to help the refugees from war torn Syria has been issued by local councillor Joe Baker who said that he for one would be happy to put a family up.
Speaking directly after Worcestershire County Council did a U-turn on its original decision not to help people fleeing conflict in the Middle East the councillor, who represents Redditch Arrow Valley East at county level, called on local people to show real community spirit and help those in dire need.
“What we have to realise is that it’s easy for us sitting watching it at home on the telly – you can’t smell or feel what’s going on in these refugee communities. We have to help them, they are in dire need,” said the councillor, who also represents Greenlands at borough council level.
“And I think it is appalling that (Prime Minister) David Cameron and the county council have waited so long to do anything.
“The Tory side of the county council rejected offering help to the refugees at their last meeting on the grounds of cost – in other words they put money before human lives which is why I said they had lost their humanity.”
He added that he felt sure that given the opportunity British people would rally to the cause.
“We as a people have an innate ability to show humanity – look how we took in the Jews displaced by the Nazis – and here we would be helping people fleeing from war torn oppression.
“It needn’t cost the public purse either as I for one am happy to start up food banks and clothing banks to help.”
However he admitted that many people might have concerns about offering a home to refugees in their own house.
“It’s a question of trust – what happens if they rob us? But you can’t look at it like that, this is about showing our humanity.”
The vote at county hall reversed a decision made in July where Conservative councillors voted against a motion on the ‘Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.’ However the motion received cross-party support when it returned before councillors on yesterday (Thursday).
Over 4,000 Worcestershire residents have signed petitions calling for local decision makers to support a practical and proportionate response to the Syrian crisis and the hope now is that with the county’s decision it will put more pressure on the Government to act quickly to help those in need.