Wycombe Labour calls on local politicians of all parties to offer a generous humanitarian hand of assistance to the refugees of Syria. Read full letter........
Steve Baker MP for Wycombe
Katrina Wood - Leader of Wycombe District Council
Martin Tett - Leader Bucks County Council
Dear Mr Baker, Councillor Katrina Wood and Councillor Martin Tett
We are calling on you to offer a generous humanitarian hand of assistance to the refugees of Syria. We know that Wycombe and the rest of Buckinghamshire can rise to play their part in meeting the biggest humanitarian crises facing Europe since WW2.
Wycombe is a prosperous town in a prosperous country. Wycombe Labour Party believes that the humanitarian crises needs to be responded to, and that we need to demonstrate our support for our fellow human beings who are suffering from the tragic events in Syria and show our humanitarianism and respect for fundamental human rights in a practical and direct way. We cannot pretend we don't know!
The UN and the EU were founded upon these principles and now is the time to apply them by offering sanctuary to the refugees who are fleeing from a war torn Syria. As you are no doubt aware, over 4 million people have fled from the brutality of the civil war in Syria. 1 in 4 of the population of Lebanon is a refugee and whilst other countries have taken larger numbers of refugees, with Germany expected to have accepted nearly 800,000 refugees and asylum seekers this year the majority from Syria. So far they have taken in some 300,000 whilst we have taken 200 odd with perhaps another 4,000 to come as a result of the Government’s announcement today.
With the right leadership, Great Britain can be inspired to accommodate many more and so avoid further tragedies. We have the infrastructure and experience and can take many more refugees. Some refugees have means of their own and so could be expected to provide their own accommodation after an initial reception period and should not be a burden on our society. Many are highly educated and skilled and will be a benefit to society.
A crisis can bring out the best in people and leaders. A great leader can inspire people to great deeds and to great acts of self-sacrifice in pursuit of the common good and in support of humanitarian principles, which we, as a great world power, have fostered and promoted.
You are in positions of authority in Wycombe and people look to you for a lead. Wycombe Labour wants Wycombe to take its share of the refugees - at a minimum 10 families. If every local authority committed to do the same Great Britain could take in 10,000 refugees.
We call on you to come out publicly and commit Wycombe to help some of the thousands of people fleeing war and want in Syria; this is the need of the hour and of our time.
We call on you to provide humane and strong leadership in Wycombe so that we can, as part of the world community, address the acute needs of our fellow human beings.
Yours with hope and expectation
David Williams QC (Wycombe Labour Party 2015 Parliamentary Candidate)
Councillor Rafiq Raja (Labour Group Leader, Wycombe District Council)