Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Three families offer to take in Syrian refugees

THREE Henley families have offered to take Syrian refugees into their homes, writes Phil Simms.

THREE Henley families have offered to take Syrian refugees into their homes, writes Phil Simms.

The news was revealed by town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak as he proposed that the town council could help them with additional expenses, such as power bills, train and bus fares and mileage.

Cllr Gawrysiak said all three had “fairly large” properties and were willing to offer space for as long as needed.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s finance strategy and management committee, he said: “If these people are willing to give up part of their homes, it would be a nice gesture if the town council could provide a small contribution towards that.

“It wouldn’t have to be much, just a little bit to mitigate some of the expenses they incur. I’m talking about a fund of £1,000.



“There would be administrative hurdles to overcome but it’s a way of showing that we genuinely care about the situation.”

Councillor Ian Reissmann said: “This is a tragedy affecting millions of people so this would be a drop in the ocean but we should still be doing it.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said he wasn’t against the idea in principle but said South Oxfordshire District Council was legally responsible for housing refugees.

Deputy Mayor Julian Brookes said: “I’m sympathetic to it but I’m not sure it’s practical.” The committee resolved to support the idea in principle but to seek the district council’s advice before making a decision.

More than four million people have fled Syria since civil war broke out in 2011, with many leaving after terror group ISIS began incursions into the country last year.

So far the UK has granted asylum to just over 5,100 Syrians and given £920million towards aid efforts.



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