A number of Stroud residents who felt disturbed about the refugee crisis attended a recent Town Council meeting to express their concern and to offer help.
They were given the opportunity to explain their anxieties on this issue.
“If we wait for the normal channels it will be too late,” said resident Pammy Michell. “It is important to start looking at ways of helping from the grassroots.”
The Town Council is concerned about the low numbers of refugees being accepted by the government and has written to Stroud MP Neil Carmichael asking him for his views on how to resolve the crisis.
In its letter the Town Council said: “We are aware that Europe is currently experiencing the biggest movement of refugees since the Second World War, with people fleeing war, conflict and persecution, particularly from Syria (i.e. not economic migrants).
“Out of Syria’s 22.8 million population 10.5 million are now displaced persons with 4.1 million who have been given refugee status in other countries already.
“The scale of this human tragedy cannot be underestimated, but our Prime Minister is offering to take just 20,000 in the next 5 years despite the fact that people around the country, including this constituency, are already offering their homes as a refuge.
“The Council is disappointed that the government is taking in so few refugees and placing too many restrictions on where they will be taken from. This country should be working more closely with the EU and taking its fair share of refugees.”
Stroud Mayor Kevin Cranston said he was touched by the show of concern by Stroud residents.
“It shows how open hearted and generous the people of Stroud are,” he said. “More barbed wire is not the answer.”
The Town Council recommends that people wishing to help to contact the Gloucestershire Association for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS) – www.garas.org.uk.