Falkirk people to have say on refugee crisis

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias. Picture: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias. Picture: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

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A public meeting on the issues surrounding the current refugee crisis will take place at Falkirk Trinity Church later this month.

The event, which runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday, September 24 will give people the chance to get their views across on the subject and also have their questions answered by a panel featuring Falkirk MP John McNally, Provost Pat Reid and other officials still to be confirmed.

Falkirk trades union council chairperson Lorna Binnie, who helped organise the meeting, said: “The refugee crisis is a major issue all over the world at the moment.

“They have been debating the matter in parliament and the Scottish Government has said it will take refugees into Scotland.

“We just want to hold a meeting and allay the fears of the community over this and tell them what will be happening in this area in terms of refugees. It is also a forum for people who may have some suggestions about how we deal with the issue on a local level.

“The important thing is to engage with the community and have them get answers to any questions they may have. Falkirk has a history of welcoming refugees, you just have to look at the Polish community in the area.”

The public meeting comes at a time the UK government has stated it plans to accept 20,000 refugees from Syria into the country by 2020. David Cameron had initially said no more Middle Eastern refugees would be accepted, but his change of heart will now be looked at in detail by a committee chaired by home secretary Theresa May.