At meetings of Bury’s ‘Full Council’ the Liberal Democrat group of councillors normally only get one question answered by the the Council Leader at each meeting. Two weeks ago the Lib Dem group asked our one question about the role Bury can play in the current refugee crisis in Europe and in Syria.
It has been impossible for anyone to ignore the crisis in recent weeks and months. Obviously there are no easy answers, but we felt that it is important that Bury can play its part.
In response to our question the Council Leader confirmed:
“Bury has a proud history of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees over many years. Since 2011 we have taken 258 individuals. Nationalities include; Iraqi, Somali, Congolese and Ethiopian. Many of the refugees have moved on to have very successful lives in Bury.
In terms of the future, we are very much in the hands of central Government who seem to be making it up as we go along. We are currently working with colleagues across [Greater Manchester] and the Home Office to formulate our response in the light of the Prime Ministers announcement last week.”
The Council meeting also discussed an ’emergency’ motion on the subject of refugees, which recognised the importance of the role that Bury could play, but also called on the Government to properly fund local councils who need to give homes to refugees. We also called on the Government to show more of a lead in the current crisis. Your Bury Liberal Democrat councillors were happy to support this motion.
We were surprised that Bury’s Conservative councillors refused to take part in the debate and sat in silence. The Bury Times report on the debate is here.