Coast support grows for Syrian refugees

Refugees heading out of war-torn Syria
Refugees heading out of war-torn Syria
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Syrian refugees are welcome all over the Fylde coast, following pledges of support from civic leaders and residents.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said he was currently in talks with government ministers over how many families from the war-torn country could be accommodated in the area.

Coun Simon Blackburn

Coun Simon Blackburn

He said: “The UK and Blackpool have a long, proud tradition of helping those most in need – Blackpool having welcomed Polish migrants in the 1940s, Hungarians in the 1950s, and Kosovans in the 1990s.

“As in any situation, opinions vary – but generally speaking people are overwhelmingly positive about the idea of us helping out.

“Of course there are those who feel that ‘charity should begin at home’ and that we should ‘sort our own problems out first’ and I try to understand that view.

“Blackpool has huge problems, which we are striving to address – but we cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.

The UK and Blackpool have a long, proud tradition of helping those most in need – Blackpool having welcomed Polish migrants in the 1940s, Hungarians in the 1950s, and Kosovans in the 1990s

“We must accept that – however bad our problems may be locally – these people who are fleeing Syria are infinitely worse off than we are .

“Given the thousands of, often very troubled, people from within the UK who~
turn up in Blackpool every year, with little more than the shirt on their back, I think we can find it within our hearts and
 wallets, to take a handful more.”
Coun Susan Fazackerley, Fylde Council leader, said: “If the council is called upon to support refugees in this time of crisis, I am certain my fellow councillors will be anxious to help. 

“I am aware local residents are already involved in organising aid.’

In Fleetwood, a 200-strong group is rolling out the welcome mat for refugees from war-torn Syria.

The Fleetwood Folk Support Syrian Refugees group has set up a Facebook page to act as a forum for those who want to help.

Fleetwood woman Nina Beavers, 48, said: “There are a number of Fleetwood people who want to take refugees into their home.”

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said: ”Wyre Council can do its bit to help.

“It is through our housing experts that we can best gauge what we are able to do.”