NorSCARF condemns Stoke Council decision to shun Syrian children seeking asylum

At NorSCARFs April general meeting, this evening,  a discussion was held on the recent decision by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to refuse to help in the resettling of any of the over 2000 unaccompanied Syrian children, currently in Kent.  The decision was met with a strong feeling of condemnation, from all those in attendance.


As was reported in the Sentinel, last week, Stoke Council have refused any help, with Council cabinet member Randy Conteh defending the decision by saying the following “we have no immediate plans to take any unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who are currently in Kent. As part of the Syrian resettlement programme we have pledged to assist 20 people, once we have the assurances from Government on how they will support them. We believe this number is proportionate to what is being asked of by Government and to the level of support being pledged by cities and areas across the West Midlands.”

We at NorSCARF believe that the decision taken is a disgrace and believe the council should be doing all they can to help the most vulnerable children seeking asylum. As Reverend Sally Smith, from the asylum-seeker charity Sanctus, stated  “The most important thing is to look beyond the financial cost as many of these children will be severely traumatised. They will be re-living horrific events which will shape their lives and we should embrace the opportunity to help them.”

For the council of a city the size of Stoke-on-Trent to think that their decision to refuse to help any unaccompanied children and only take only 20 refugees is adequate is truly appalling.

We call upon the council to reverse their decision and believe they should pledge to drastically increase the number of Syrian asylum seekers they plan to assist.  We strongly believe all refugees fleeing war and oppression should be welcomed!

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