OPINION

Government must do more to help councils help settle refugees

Posted On 30 Aug 2021 at 10:19 am

Much has been written both nationally and locally about the terrifying situation unfolding in Afghanistan and what responsibility the UK should take for the chaotic scenes there and the desperate plight of thousands of vulnerable women, children and locals who worked in various capacities for our services over the last two decades.

The whole subject of asylum-seekers has become so polarised nationally in recent years – largely thanks to the rhetoric of members of the government and some sections of the media – that it makes me weep for what felt like a more tolerant past and appreciate the continued kindness of people in Brighton and Hove.

In the 1970s, at my inner London primary school, I counted among my friends a new girl who horrified the class with stories of her last months in Idi Amin’s Uganda.

Our teacher encouraged her to speak so we would understand the fear and misery involved in having to leave behind everything – and everyone – you have ever known to flee across the world in fear.

When I took these tales home, my Auntie Eve told me of her arrival as a small child decades earlier, on the Kindertransport.

She had never mentioned it before but now told me of the kindness of strangers here when she arrived and after the war as it became clear that not a single other member of her family had survived.

Later, I remember headlines about the “Vietnamese Boat People” who made the perilous journey across the seas, risking their all in search of safety, and at art school in the 1980s one of my friends was Juan, who arrived here from Chile in 1973, aged 7, after his parents had been taken to the notorious National Stadium along with thousands of other political prisoners.

With the current situation at least partly due to their disgraceful mishandling of a situation far away, the government must do more to support local authorities in helping settle the resulting refugees in our cities.

Brighton and Hove has an honourable record as a City of Sanctuary – and long may that continue.

Councillor Amanda Evans is the deputy leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Soosie Mclean Reply

    Will Ms Evans be housing any asylum seekers herself? I remember Green MP Caroline Lucas stating that she would do so, and then subsequently reneging on this offer, and the usual excuses are ‘my house is too small/I haven’t got the money/my children wouldn’t like it’ etc…

    The problem with the weird, creepy open-border fanatics is that they want to house as many asylum seekers as possible within the UK, just as long as they themselves don’t have to have any of them living anywhere near them, or put any pressure on schools, housing, doctors and dentists that they themselves use

  2. Richard Reply

    And how many asylum seekers will YOU be housing Cllr. Evans?

    • Cerys Jones Reply

      Richard, Amanda Evans and Caroline Lucas will not be housing a single one of them. Historically asylum seekers have been dumped in struggling, low-income communities and placed pressure on GP surgery’s, schools, dentists and housing stock.

      Not that Amanda Evans or Caroline Lucas care; as long as their middle-class, liberal sensitivities are assuaged, they will continue to insist that we continue to import more asylum seekers. Even Green Party Caroline Lucas, an ‘environmentalist’, has stated that the Greens support building on green-belt land to build property’s to house asylum seekers

  3. Hove Guy Reply

    Britain is a small island. We can’t just go on and on taking in asylum seekers, Surely other countries in the world should be playing their part, especially the wealthy European and Arab countries, with plenty of space?

    • Da Wind Reply

      The UK is home to approx. 1% of the 26.4 million refugees, forcibly displaced across the world.
      Over 6.7 million people have fled conflict in Syria, and many more are displaced inside the country. Turkey is the biggest refugee hosting country in the world. At the end of 2020 Turkey was providing safety to 3.7 million Syrian refugees. By the end of February 2021 the UK had resettled 20,319 refugees from Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). This includes 239 refugees who were resettled prior to the target of 20,000 being set.
      Before you allow your xenophobia to influence your judgement you would perhaps prefer to read up on the reality pertaining to the subject, however, given your past comment history I very much doubt it.

      • Adele Chilmark Reply

        So will YOU be housing an asylum seeker, if you advocate for them so much? Or is it the same old tired excuse ‘don’t have the money, don’t have the room, will increase my Council Tax bill’?

        Not so in favour of housing asylum seekers if it personally costs you money, are you?

  4. Daniel Harris Reply

    Hmmmm. I wrote to this councillor regarding her words and an actual case I have with an asylum seeker and after what 10 days since I contacted Cllr Evans I have not had a reply. I find this hypocritical writing about asylum seekers and then when you get an email its ignored. I also called the number Cllr evans leaves on her brighton and hove city council page and left messages. Heard nothing back.

  5. Some Guy Reply

    “an actual case I have with an asylum seeker”
    Could you expand on this?

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