Calderdale Tories under attack after claims they are leafleting saying it is 'unrealistic for council to house refugees'

A Calderdale Cabinet member has attacked local Conservatives who he says have been handing out leaflets in north Halifax which claim it was unrealistic for the council to house refugees.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 1:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:00 pm
Coun Adam Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge), who is Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services

Coun Adam Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge), who is Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, said the Government has made it mandatory for all councils to take some of the children after reviewing the arrangements – but Calderdale were already helping.

“We have been supporting a number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children because we are a Valley of Sanctuary and will always do what we can to support those fleeing violence or persecution.

“Local authorities have been contacted over the last few months but up until this week the national transfer scheme was voluntary.

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“Quite a few local authorities have not been playing their part,” said Coun Wilkinson.

He attacked local Conservatives saying he knew the party had been handing out leaflets in north Halifax which claimed it was unrealistic for the council to house refugees.

“If that’s truly what they believe they may want to start lobbying their own Government,” said Coun Wilkinson.

He told members at the final full meeting of Calderdale Council of the year that Calderdale had also agreed to take in one more child and do what it could to support them.

“Thirty one people drowning in the channel brings home the importance of this work.

“I use the word people – not migrants, not foreigners, not just a statistic – because that’s what they are,” he said.

Coun Diana Tremayne (Lab, Todmorden) had said the council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board heard about excellent work with unaccompanied asylum seeking children and asked how the Government’s announcement about councils caring for asylum seeking children affected Calderdale.