Fresh calls for authorities in Norfolk to take in refugees from Syria

Refugees Welcome - supporters calling on Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council to account

Refugees Welcome - supporters calling on Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council to account for their actions to implement motions in support of refugees that they passed in September 2015. - Credit: Steve Adams

More than 100 people have attended a meeting calling on Norfolk councils to begin taking in refugees.

It comes more than five months after Norfolk County Council agreed, in principle, to resettle 50 people fleeing the Syrian civil war.

But the Norwich Refugees Welcome Here group, which organised last night's event in the city, said not enough was being done.

Member Julie Bremner said the meeting aimed to put pressure on the council to take action and begin resettling those in need.

She added: 'It is to hold the council and the government to account on what they are doing in terms of helping refugees.

'I think the message from this group is that 50 is not enough. The agencies in Norfolk have said they are now ready to resettle more.'

Norwich City Council and Broadland District Council has made a commitment to take the refugees in the greater Norwich area.

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But the county council said the decision would still depend on the amount of financial support provided by the government.

A spokesman said: 'There has been no final decision taken on the number of refugees coming to Norfolk under the government's Syria programme.

'Our discussions, which are still continuing, are based on resettling 50 Syrian refugees but that decision will rest very much on the financial and other support provided by central government.

'It's important to stress that refugees coming from a war zone may well need very specific support that isn't currently available in the county.' Yesterday's meeting, which took place at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, was attended by members of the public, church leaders and local aid groups.

The Rev Andy Bryant, canon pastor at Norwich Cathedral, said: 'I feel we have to make a response to all that is happening on the continent and I do hope our county can play its part.'

Have you launched an organisation to support refugees? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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