It is our ‘moral duty’ to take in refugees says Northampton opposition councillor

Gareth Eales NNL-150117-192442001

Gareth Eales NNL-150117-192442001

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Northampton should play its part in helping the European migrant crisis by housing refugees an opposition borough councillor says.

Gareth Eales (Lab, Spencer) has issued a call for local authorities to offer help, support and accommodation to those fleeing war torn countries such as Syria, because he says the town has a ”moral duty of care.”

After Glasgow City Council made a pledge to house 60 of the migrants and authorities in Kingston, Birmingham and Edinburgh all made similar pledges, Councillor Eales believes Northampton should consider doing the same.

He said: “We all understand that a humanitarian crisis is taking place, as many people are making the perilous journey into Europe seeking sanctuary.

“People in Northampton will be rightly shocked and appalled to see the television images of children drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

“I want to see both Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council pledge to play their part in providing help and support to these refugees.

“If 50 councils pledged to resettle 50 refugees, that would help the lives of 2,500 people. So I want to see our local authorities make these pledges.”

Councillor Eales said David Cameron’s stance towards taking in migrants has so far been “disappointing.”

“We need to keep in mind there is a difference between ‘immigrant’ and ‘refugee’,” he added. “What we have right now is predominately refugees feeling violence and war in the Middle East.

“I am saying we have a moral duty of care as a town and country to help genuine refugees.”

Councillor Eales is due to raise the matter as part of the next full council meeting on September 2.

Last week Labour Corby borough councillor Matt Reay, urged Britain to give its support to the refugee crisis.

Petitions have also been launched across the county asking for Northamptonshire to support those fleeing war torn countries.

A campaign calling for Kettering to house a number of those displaced so far has 96 signatures.

What do you think? Should Northampton agree to take in refugees?

Email the Chronicle & Echo via editor@northantsnews.co.uk or join the debate on Facebook.

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