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EK Homes For Refugees
Campaigners in East Kilbride are petitioning South Lanarkshire Council to welcome desperate refugees escaping war-torn Syria.
It comes after the harrowing pictures of the lifeless body of little Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Turkey caused an international outcry.
Now, campaign group 38 Degrees have started a petition, backed by East Kilbride residents, calling on the council to follow other local authorities, including neighbouring North Lanarkshire, who have said they would house destitute families and offer homes to 50 families.
Local campaigner Kirstin Robb is appealing to the humanity of the local authority to take in some of those swept up in the refugee crisis across Europe.
And she has described David Cameron’s announcement that the UK will welcome 20,000 refugees as “woefully inadequate”.
She said: The PM’s announcement on Monday, which amounts to letting in just 12 Syrian refugees a day until May 2020, is woeful compared to what is needed and how many people other European countries are welcoming in.
“However, here in South Lanarkshire we can do our bit and offer a safe haven to people in need, although the money shouldn’t be taken from the aid budget to pay for it.
“Despite what the government would have us believe, we are still one of the richest countries in the world – it’s all about political priorities and my priority is to look after people’s basic needs, here and abroad.
“We need to face the fact people are in crisis and they desperately need our help.”
Ann Gee, director of Housing and Technical Resources at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “We look forward to hearing the details of the Government’s proposals.”
Greenhills and East Kilbride South Youth Club are calling on local residents to back a drive for donations to help the refugees.
Leader, Councillor Archie Buchanan, said: “We have decided to have a collection bottle every Saturday between 9am and 12 noon in Greenhills Community Hall where anyone can make a donation, however small, towards the Syrian crisis which is engulfing Europe.
“I have been contacted by constituents over the weekend offering to help in various ways and this is an easy way for people across the town to help quickly by donating a few pounds.”
And as well as donations and collections in East Kilbride, families have offered to open their homes to families in need.
One such resident is Beatrice Beattie, from Greenhills, who said: “I am willing to provide emergency accommodation for children or families and I would ask others to do all they can to push the UK government to welcome tens of thousands more refugees to the UK.”
The petition from 38 Degrees can be found and signed here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/efforts/refugees-welcome