Hackney hesitates as Islington takes in Syrians

Hive 260 Kingsland Rd Haggerston take donations from Hackney people for refugees at Calais 060915 © david.altheer@gmail.com

HACKNEY COUNCIL has signed up to the government’s scheme to house 20,000 Syrian refugees. But a veil of secrecy has been thrown over it sinc the announcement in September 2015.

Both Hackney and the Government have stalled on giving anything but broad responses to enquiries. Fears of right-wing reaction may be a factor.

Today, Islington council, however, broke cover when it sent Loving Dalston a press statement. It says: “The refugees will be housed in private-rented accommodation.”

Islington council leader Richard Watts said: “If any more local landlords want to help and would like to offer a property to a family in need please get in touch.”

A  government website says, however, that “we’re not asking people to come forward with offers of a spare bedroom”.

Islington says it is making “final preparations to welcome five Syrian households that are coming to the borough” this month December 2015 after fleeing civil war and terrorism in their homeland.

Contact us: Islington’s Richard Watts (supplied pic)
Islington’s Richard Watts (supplied pic): the council is to welcome five Syrian households

The council was working with the Refugee Action charity to help the families to adapt to life in London via a two-week orientation programme of practical tips such as how to register with a GP, use an Oyster card and buy food. The Syrians would be given a year’s help from a support worker, as well as language help.

Loving Dalston has been asking Hackney for details since early last month but has been fobbed off : the council said it was awaiting details from the Government.

The Government said it had pledged to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of this Parliament.

The local government ministry told Loving Dalston: “We are speaking with many local authorities, including Hackney, who are keen to help as the scheme is expanded further in the new year.”

David Altheer 041215

* Picture at top: In Haggerston Hackney people brought donations from for refugees at Calais. See backstory.

* Backstory: Hackney Hive opens refugee aid drop-off 

Forestory: Hackney demands more money 

* This government site answers some questions. Activist group Hackney Unites has already held a public meeting to discuss how the borough’s people can support refugees. Press this link for information.

* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com. All for sale for reproduction. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

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