Petition calls on Kettering Council to house 50 Syrian refugees

Almost 100 people have signed an online petition calling for the authorities in Kettering to provide housing for 50 Syrian refugees
Almost 100 people have signed an online petition calling for the authorities in Kettering to provide housing for 50 Syrian refugees
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Almost 100 people have signed an online petition calling for the authorities in Kettering to provide housing for 50 Syrian refugees.

The ‘Refugees Welcome in Kettering’ campaign urges the borough council to help house Syrian refugees.

Imagine if the UK was at war and we had to flee, we would expect refuge in countries which are safe.

Holly Griffiths

The petition on political activism website 38degrees comes in response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise that the UK will provide resettlements to ‘thousands’ more Syrian refugees.

Petition creator Holly Griffiths said: “These people are human beings, how can we not support them?

“Imagine if the UK was at war and we had to flee, we would expect refuge in countries which are safe.

“The amount of refugees from Syria in the UK would fit into one train.

“All we’re asking is for Kettering to cater 50 of them, which is only a few families.

“Obviously we’re not expecting residents to house them, but the council to find them a place to live until the conflict has subsided.

“I couldn’t bear other humans being treated unfairly because of their government.

“People should sign it because imagine if it was your family or children in a war stricken area, then you saw pictures of them washed up on a beach, how would you feel?

“I’m just hoping for awareness of the situation.”

A Kettering Council spokesman said: “Local authorities expect to receive guidance from the Government this week, which we will consider alongside our existing housing policies.”

The UK has accepted 216 Syrian refugees after a scheme to relocate the most vulnerable began nearly two years ago, while just under 5,000 had been granted asylum status in the country since 2011.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone has said the country had ‘done enough’ and shouldn’t take any more refugees.

Leila Albin, an 18-year-old Syrian refugee living in Kettering, said: “Not everyone is as lucky as me to be here, I urge you to be very grateful for your peaceful and secure life.

“One day you might lose it all like the Syrians.

“My heart aches every second for my fellow Syrians struggling to find shelter from the war that ripped their homes, their families, their happiness from underneath their feet.

“Sign the petition to get Kettering to house some more refugees and speak up to give the Syrians a moment of peace in their chaotic world.”​

Statistics suggest that more than four million refugees have fled Syria since the civil unrest began in 2011, with more than 11 million people displaced as a result of the conflict.

Green Party representative for Kettering Rob Reeves said: “Finally David Cameron has announced that the UK will increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the country, and to surpass the paltry number of 216 it has accepted in recent years.

“However, still more needs to be done, which is why petitions like this one are so important.

“The longer the Government makes up its mind as to whether it has a heart or not, more people will die, in the in the back of overcrowded vans, attempting to cross the channel tunnel, or by drowning in the ocean.

“One of the very few positives we can take from this is how local public are now following the example set by our friends on the continent and taking action.”

The petition can be found here.