At a branch Labour Party meeting in September local members met with Catherine Henderson from the local organisation Herts. Welcomes Syrian Families to discuss shared concerns about the Syrian refugee crisis and what we could to in Hitchin and Letchworth to help. After this meeting, we issued a statement in support of the people in dire need fleeing from dangers in their home countries.
Following on from this, your Labour councillors on North Herts. District Council will submit a motion to NHDC to call on the Tory administration to engage positively and as a matter of urgency with local groups and the national organisations coordinating the placement of families in our region.
As councillors, many of us have received letters and emails asking for us to ensure that North Herts. plays a proper role in assisting Syrian families. It is a shame that at the NHDC Cabinet in September, far from engaging positively and urgently, North Herts. Conservative councillors have agreed to look at the impact locally and how much helping will cost. They have requested officers produce a report to be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 10 November.
Labour Councillors will press for the immediate action which is so desperately needed to deal with this crisis humanely and compassionately. Of course we need to consider local impact and costing, but not at the snails' pace of the Tories.
NHDC Cllr. Clare Billing