Hartlepool offers to help with Syrian refugees crisis

The Norwegian Siem Pilot ship carrying to Italy hundreds of migrants rescued in several operations in the Mediterranean.

The Norwegian Siem Pilot ship carrying to Italy hundreds of migrants rescued in several operations in the Mediterranean.

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Civic leaders in Hartlepool are writing to the Prime Minister to offer support from the town to help refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Chief Executive penned a letter to David Cameron yesterday at the end of a week when the crisis escalated and shocking images of families caught up in the crisis were beamed around the world.

We can’t just sit back and watch events unfold before our very eyes

Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher

The council is offering to provide refuge and sanctuary to more people in Hartlepool.

Authority leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “We’ve all seen the horrific images on television during the last few days as a result of the Syrian crisis and we can’t just sit back and watch events unfold before our very eyes.

“We have a responsibility to play our part and provide refuge and sanctuary in Hartlepool for some of these families and we will be making this offer to Mr Cameron.

“We need to show a high degree of humanity and provide a safe haven for families during a time of unprecedented need.”

The most shocking picture from the last week was that of a three-year-old Syrian boy who was one of 12 drowned on a Turkish beach trying to get to Europe.

Council Chief Executive Gill Alexander wrote to David Cameron following an urgent meeting with Coun Akers-Belcher and other senior councillors.

She said: “Hartlepool has an excellent track record of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into our local community.

“Following our offer to Mr Cameron we will be liaising with faith groups in the town and community organisations to make sure that Hartlepool is a place of welcome for any refugees who arrive here.”

David Cameron yesterday announced Britain is to take in thousands more refugees and provide £100 million aid.

He said: “We will continue with our approach of taking them from the refugee camps. This provides them with a more direct and safe route to the United Kingdom, rather than risking the hazardous journey which has tragically cost so many their lives.”