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Should Preston become a City of Sanctuary? Prestonians have their say

Posted on - 15th December, 2016 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, Charities, News, Opinion, Preston Council
Massive influx of Syrian Kurdish refugees into Turkey Pic: EC/ECHO

Massive influx of Syrian Kurdish refugees into Turkey Pic: EC/ECHO

Preston City Council will deliberate whether refugees should be welcomed into the city at an upcoming meeting at Preston Town Hall.

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Council leader councillor Peter Rankin is supporting a group which seeks to welcome the refugees by creating a City of Sanctuary in the city.

The charity states it is ‘a movement to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.’ Sheffield was the first place to be declared a City of Sanctuary.

The motion will be debated at the full council meeting on Thursday 15 December from 2pm at the Town Hall.

Here’s what Preston said in response:

Edwina Wilson believes Preston should welcome the refugees. She said: “Definitely. I would be proud to live in a city of tolerance towards people in such dire need! A true humanitarian community!”

Neil Green, however, believes we have other problems to address first. He said: “Absolutely not until we can give safe sanctuary to the homeless of our own city and look after our own problems before anyone else’s.”

Nicholas Herne is in favour of the sanctuary, saying: “Every city and town in these islands should be a place of sanctuary; let Preston lead the way and be a light in these dark times. A little poetic but it sums up the sentiment!”

Read more: These girls spent a night on Preston’s streets being homeless

Richard Vipond has concerns about welcoming the refugees. He said: “We can’t afford them everything is at breaking point”

Holly Illing was enthusiastic about the idea. She said: “Proud to be Prestonian if this happens!”

Sean Heatley Byrne raised the issue regarding lack of resources. He said: “Does Preston really have the resources to do it? It’s all very well being nice and humanitarian if you have resources but Preston doesn’t, if it did I would say yes but it’s a poor city with enough problems and you have to be realistic.”

Graham Roberts believes Preston should create the sanctuary, saying: “Glad to see the majority of people commenting supporting this initiative, let’s hope Preston and the people of Preston ca provide a safe home for people fleeing war and persecution.”

Emma Caffrey disagrees, with concerns over current problems in Preston. She said: “No I disagree. Let’s look after our own first and then let others in by all means. But we have old folk who can’t afford heating/food. Homeless people, vulnerable people. Let’s sort them and give them the support needed.”

Do you support Preston becoming a City of Sanctuary? Let us know your views in the comments below

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