False rumours over number of refugees

Some Fleetwood residents have been alarmed by scare stories about the number of Syrian refugees likely to be housed in the town.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 2:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 2:16 pm
The county is to host 150 Syrian refugee families

Last week one worried woman contacted a former Fleetwood Town Council member to seek answers about an apparent 5,000 refugees coming to Fleetwood – in reality as many as the whole country would take in during one year.

Others numbers being discussed on Facebook include an apparent 200 people coming to live in the port.

It follows the steady influx of migrants into Europe since last year, fleeing the bitter civil war in Syria, and calls by German chancellor sangela Merkel for the EU to share the load of incoming refugees.

Now Wyre Council, the authority which will oversee any such migrants being given homes in the borough, has stepped forward to clarify the situation, after Fleetwood MP Cat Smith sought to calm such fears last week.

A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “Wyre has agreed, together with all local authorities in Lancashire, to take our fair share of Syrian refugees under the resettlement programme.

“This equates to 150 families over five years across the whole of Lancashire.

“Whilst on average this will mean two properties per local authority the number of families to be accommodated in Wyre and the timing of their arrivals has yet to be decided but it is unlikely that we will receive any requests for at least two years.

“To date we have not had any requests to house either refugees or asylum seekers in Fleetwood.”

Members of Facebook group, Fleetwood Unite (Say No to Refugees), are directly opposed to refugees coming to the town.

Another group, Fleetwood Folk Support Syrian Refugees Group, have made efforts to help refugees in Europe.