Protest group’s refugee stance

Refugees heading out of war-torn Syria
Refugees heading out of war-torn Syria

More than 2,000 people join forces to oppose giving migrants from war-torn areas a home in port

Concern over the issue of Syrian refugees and the possibility of some coming to Fleetwood has led to mixed reactions in the town.

As you would have seen in the local papers, over 200 fleetwood residents are offering to take in refugees. This doesn’t just put them at harm but also all other Fleetwood residents

Gesz Clark

But a great many are not happy at the prospect of migrants coming to live in Fleetwood.

Members of a new Facebook group, Fleetwood Unite (Say No to Refugees), are directly opposed to migrants coming to the town and in less than a week has attracted more than 2,000 members.

Set up by Fleetwood man Gesz Clark, the group’s members are worried about the prospect of strangers from an unstable part of the world arriving in the town, and fears over potential extremism.

Mr Clark set up the group after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Britain will take 20,000 migrants over the next five years, and a Weekly News story which highlighted local support for the refugees.

However, Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, who has spoken in support of Britain helping refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria and Iraq, says the town would be likely to take no more than just two refugees a year.

A statement from Mr Clark on the Fleetwood Unite site reads: “As you would have seen in the local papers, over 200 fleetwood residents are offering to take in refugees. This doesn’t just put them at harm but also all other Fleetwood residents.

“I along with many more worry for the future of my children. You have seen on daily news how they are destroying other countries and its world news that we are going to take 20,000. Stand up for your town and families. And say no.”

Some of the posts refer to extremist banners shown among migrants arriving in Germany, and some of the postings flag up views that British soldiers are in greater need of help.

Meanwhile, another group, Fleetwood Folk Support Syrian Refugees Group, is trying to help refugees.

MP Cat Smith said this week: “David Cameron’s announcement equates to approximately just two refugees a year in a town the size of Fleetwood. These are victims of ISIS who are fleeing the horrors of that regime.

“I’m campaigning for the government to address the issues of poor housing conditions, inadequate jobs with inadequate wages and inadequate hours for all my constituents – this issue is very separate to the moral argument that as a country we play our role internationally in humanitarian issues”

Previous articles on refugees:

Coast support grows for Syrian refugees

‘Fleetwood must be ready to welcome the refugees’

Lancashire groups rally round to help support refugees at camps

Mum’s rallying cry for Syrian families