At the Executive Committee held on Tuesday 15 September, Cllr Hannah Packham [LAB, St Thomas] presented Exeter City Council Leader, Cllr Pete Edwards [LAB, Whipton Barton] with a petition.
In making the presentation, Hannah made the following comments:
The refugee crisis is an incredible important issue and I am pleased to be here to support the views of many of Exeter’s residents.
No-one can fail to be moved by many of the images that we’ve seen in recent weeks.
I was pleased to join over 500 people on Cathedral Green on Saturday and happy to accept the 38 Degrees petition with over 1300 signatories on behalf of the Leader and Exeter City Council.
I am proud of the work that is being done by Refugee Support Devon and that work is progressing to make Exeter a City of Sanctuary/
I shared with the the crowd the plan for ECC for work with colleagues in th Home Office and other bodies to work towards housing refugees in Exeter, but I am keen that all neighbouring local authorities play their part as well.
Equally important is funding – so it is important that central government provide the funds, for on-going provision just just a commitment to the one-year commitment to support those in need this year.
I am proud of the response of Exeter – the people, the council and the agencies.
In response, Cllr Edwards said that that normally such a petition would be presented at Full Council but he decided to take it at this meeting. With the urgency of the debate in mind, Cllr Edwards will send the petition direct to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Pete Edwards made it clear that it was imperative that the Home Office talk to all local authorities to ensure they all take in their fair share and that the response wasn’t left to the larger cities.
In addition, Pete confirmed to Cllr Leadbetter [CON, St Loyes] that a letter would be sent to central government calling for on-going funding to tackle the issue.