Falkirk councillors vote to accept Syrian refugees

editorial image

Councillors in Falkirk have voted unanimously to accept refugees fleeing war-torn Syria at a meeting last week.

Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) recommended that all Scottish local authorities take in refugees, part of a wave who have flooded into Europe to escape the bloody violence in the Middle Eastern country.

The UK has already agreed to bring in 20,000, with some already in Britain. Scotland will accommodate 2000 meaning Falkirk’s share – three per cent – would be around 60 refugees.

The council will have to provide housing, but costs will be met by the Home Office for the first year and any accommodation that will be offered will depend on availability.

Labour Councillor Craig R Martin has welcomed the vote. He said: “We all saw the horrors on our TV screens over the summer and no one can forget the image of the three-year old boy washed ashore on a beach in Turkey. It is only proper that Falkirk play its part.

“The council will offer to take around 60 refugees from the camps when homes and services become available to meet their needs.

“Our slogan, Touch ane, touch a, is how the bairns of Falkirk will treat those fleeing the horrors in Syria, I have no doubt of that.”

SNP Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said the issue was above party politics.

She said: “Scotland is a diverse country and we welcome the Syrian refugees. This is above party politics and Falkirk Council is united in opening our hearts, and reaching out to help and support these vulnerable people who have been persecuted in their own country, offering them a safe place to live and an opportunity to become part our community.

“I personally look forward to welcoming them to Falkirk and will do whatever I can to help on both a personal and professional level.”

Falkirk Council is in the process of writing to inform the Home Office it is taking part in the scheme and is making logistical plans for the arrival of refugees.”