‘Where is the sense in all this?’
I UNDERSTAND from the government website there is a policy of moving asylum seekers and refugees out of hotel accommodation, with a minimum of five days notice.
They allege that they are providing additional resources for accommodation providers and local partners to manage the process and to minimise disruption, ’particularly focusing on families’ – I quote from the published policy.
How is it therefore that a refugee in the Bluemont Hotel, who has been given permission to work, and indeed has started work in a care home in of South Birmingham, is being moved with her children to another hotel in Leamington Spa?
One lady has a daughter at school in Birmingham and is being moved to Nottingham!
All this is happening while the Home Office was closed for the appeals process over Christmas, but these moves will have already taken place before they re-open and the appeals process takes several weeks.
And though the government claims it is saving the costs of the hotels, actually people are just being shifted to another hotel elsewhere in the country, while yet more refugees are being removed to come here.
The local Refugee and Asylum Seekers support groups in Bromsgrove have been teaching these ladies English, sewing and other crafts over the past few months.
There is a lot of support for them here and the welcome has helped traumatised people recover.
There was similar local support earlier in the year for the male asylum seekers resident at the local Ibis hotel, who were also summarily removed at short notice and placed elsewhere.
Where is the sense in all this?
Are these people being helped to settle in our society when they are constantly uprooted and treated like baggage, as indeed statistics show that most of these people will be given Right to Remain?
Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees
‘New town? lets see’
THIS year it will be 60 years since Redditch was designated a new town and thanks to our wonderful Conservative borough and county councils it looks set to be the best yet!
They are going to get rid of the, admittedly much prized, recreational green space of top Ipsley meadow and replace it with a fantastic new municipal cemetery.
I’ve often sat up there thinking the view, good as it is, would be improved by the sight of graves spreading across it.
With the sort of joined up thinking Labour supporters cannot appreciate; the town is getting a wonderful new toxic chemical refinery from Kaug thanks to our Conservative Worcestershire County Council, meaning, if things go badly wrong, we might need a large cemetery.
Our purpose-built town library will be demolished and replaced by a glorious new square, sorry, plaza, with fountains and yet more coffee shops.
This will mean many of those currently in the Kingfisher Centre can move out to these new outlets freeing up the units in the centre to be decorated with life size murals of countryside scenes to replace the real ones lost at Ipsley meadow.
More joined up thinking by the Conservatives.
The library, with its mother and toddler and pensioner groups, will relocate to the town hall hub to join the drink, drug and mental health facilities there.
What could possibly go wrong?
Elsewhere in the town, the unsightly field in Matchborough will be built on and those dreadful woods out Mappleborough Green way will become a brilliant new housing estate, despite there being no new school or health centre being built to cater for the increased numbers – and the poor old Alex doubtless continuing to lose services to Worcester Royal, for political rather than medical reasons.
This year will also bring council elections across the borough, so please remember all these things the Conservatives have done for the town when the time comes to vote.
‘Volunteer for us’
AS ONE of the country’s largest youth organisations, we at St John Ambulance are incredibly proud of our young people and their achievements.
In 2023 alone, 2,000 of our Badgers and Cadets (aged five to 17) gave an astonishing 54,000 hours of their time over 12 months, covering events, training, teaching first aid and helping their communities.
That works out to over six years of volunteering in just 12 months.
We want to continue helping our young volunteers thrive and would like your readers to consider volunteering, themselves, as part of the Youth Team.
They’ll be instrumental in helping the next generation of first aiders develop their skills and help save lives.
They can find out more and apply via our website at sja.org.uk/youthteam. We have opportunities all over the country and they don’t need any previous first aid experience.
Readers can also help us with a donation.
A generous gift of £15 could help us cover the cost of one first aid lesson, enabling St John to empower young people with essential lifesaving skills.
And a gift of £50 today could contribute to training a youth leader who could learn how to equip hundreds of young people with crucial first aid knowledge and leadership skills that last a lifetime.
Visit sja.org.uk/donate/ if you can help.
We’re immensely grateful for whatever amount they can spare.
However you choose to support St John Ambulance, we wish you a healthy and happy 2024 and our team looks forward to seeing and helping you in communities around the country.
National Youth Operations Lead
St John Ambulance
WELL DONE to brave Redditch schoolgirl Maya Mason for her Children and Young People Star Award from Cancer Research UK.
Faced with a situation many adults would struggle to deal with, Maya maintained her energy levels, is now back at school and participating in the gymnastics she loves.
The six-year-old is an absolute inspiration to us all and has shown, when faced with adversity, there are always ways to battle back and defy the odds.
We welcome your letters….
We welcome your letters for the Redditch Standard on any subject.
Email them to [email protected]