Public meeting to discuss how Northampton could welcome refugees to the town

Picture shows refugee children in a temporary camp, courtesy of Children on the Edge. Northamptonshire County Council informed the Government it could not take any refugees in back in March. However a grassroots movemement is trying to make local concils change their minds.
Picture shows refugee children in a temporary camp, courtesy of Children on the Edge. Northamptonshire County Council informed the Government it could not take any refugees in back in March. However a grassroots movemement is trying to make local concils change their minds.

A public meeting is to be held in Northampton to gather a “groundswell” of support for housing refugee families in the town - after local councils dismissed the idea earlier this year for lack of funds.

Back in March both Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council said they did not have the resources to take in one single family of refugees fleeing from warzones in the Middle East.

The decision, which split opinion with Chron commenters, came even though funding is available from central government to do so.

On September 12, Northampton Town of Sanctuary is to host a public meeting at the Guildhall aimed at getting people behind its cause.

One of the group’s aims is to put forward the case to the two councils for taking in 50 families over the next five years.

A spokeswoman for the group said; “What we are hoping the meeting will do is to introduce like-minded people and to establish a groundswell of opinion suggesting Northampton is open to refugees.”

She added; “We think 50 families over five years is a modest proposal.”

The event, starting at 6.30pm on Monday, September 12, will feature guest speeches from university lecturer Dr Evangelia Prokopiou, who will talk about the plight of refugees win the Greek island of Lesbos; Sabir Zazai of Coventry Refugee Centre and Colleen Molloy from the national City of Sanctuary Movement.

A selection of drawings by the children of the Amygdaleza Migrant Detention Centre in Athens, will also be on display.

The spokeswoman said Northampton Town of Sanctuary is also about changing attitudes towards migrants and asylum seekers.

If you are interested in joining the group, head to northampton.cityofsanctuary.org.

And if you are interested in attending the Guildhall meeting on September 12, email Secretary.ntos@gmail.com. Admission is free.