Afghan refugees are welcome in Woking

August 24, 2021 5:49 PM

Woking Lib Dems are calling on the Government to make a more ambitious commitment to resettle refugees fleeing the Taliban, and to give Woking Borough Council extra funding to house and support them here.

The Lib Dems have slammed the Government's commitment to resettle just 5,000 Afghan refugees across the UK over the next year, saying it "falls woefully short" of what is needed in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

The party also highlighted that 50 families have been resettled in Woking since 2014 under the previous Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme for refugees of the conflict in Syria. Surrey County Council is currently caring for 88 child refugees and needs to play its in helping people displaced from Afghanistan.

Lib Dem Group Leader on Woking Borough Council, Councillor Ann-Marie Barker, said:

"Woking has a proud record of providing sanctuary to those in need. The Council have given a new home to 50 refugee families fleeing the awful violence in Syria, and I know local people will welcome those escaping the Taliban now too."

"The Borough Council has pledged to help resettle Afghan families and is urgently seeking three and four bedroom properties available to rent now. I urge local landlords to contact the Council as soon as possible."

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking and Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Councillor Will Forster, added:

"It is now or never to save innocent people from the terror of the Taliban. Our Government must step up urgently and offer safe and legal routes to the UK for Afghan refugees who have been forced to flee their homes."

"A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before our eyes and Priti Patel's promise to resettle just 5,000 refugees over the next 12 months falls woefully short of meeting that challenge. I know the UK can do far better than that."

"The Government must live up to its obligations by giving Woking Borough Council and local authorities across the UK extra funding so we can house, support and integrate these refugees properly. The Government needs to support places like Woking who are clearly keen to play their part in this crisis."