Bideford Town Council votes it would support refugees fleeing Syria but asks if people would be willing to house families.

Bideford Town Council has voted it would be willing to support refugee families from Syria who might be coming to Devon.

In September last year the Home Office announced the UK would take 20,000 refugees from Syria.

Devon County Council is currently co-ordinating the scheme in Devon, liaising with local authorities and stakeholders as to where these refugees could be resettled.

Councillors raised concerns at a meeting on Thursday over the lack of accommodation and how they would be able to provide support to asylum seekers.

After hearing impassioned speeches from members of the public urging them to empathise with the families, most councillors were in support.

Councillor Joe Day said: “These people are not going to put their children on a makeshift boat and try to escape their country if it wasn’t more dangerous on the land.

“This could be good for Bideford and it would be great to be seen as a forward thinking and more cosmopolitan town.”

Councillor Peter Christie said the town had a history of taking refugees, including Belgians, Hungarians, Vietnamese and even evacuees during World War Two.

“I would suggest we ask the townspeople if any would be willing to open their homes to these families,” he said.

“We may not have the money but we do have the power to ask our townspeople this.”

Would you be willing to house a refugee family fleeing Syria? Vote in our poll above.

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