The plight of Syrian refugees was raised again at the Cheshire East Council Cabinet on 8th March. Concerns were expressed that little progress has been made. It appears that the Council is blaming the government for not clarifying the finances and the government is blaming the Council.
When Cllr Corcoran raised the plight of Syrian refugees in November, former Conservative Cabinet Member Cllr Les Gilbert sought to make party political gain out of the issue saying that accepting any refugees now would be financially irresponsible and added, “We would be writing a blank cheque and we’d be in the same situation that the last Labour government got us in.” The comments by Cllr Gilbert were made all the more extraordinary when on the very next item he proposed bidding to host a stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race even though he admitted that the Council would be taking a financial “risk which is unquantifiable at this stage”. Since November the arrangements for staging the Tour of Britain have proceeded at pace, but the progress on Syrian refugees has been an uphill grind.
Sam Corcoran, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “I am disappointed at how little progress has been made. It seems that, as with the planning issues over the NPPF and the Local Plan, the Council blames the government and the government blames the Council. I really hope that there will be better news in three month’s time when the issue of Syrian refugees will be raised again.”
Laura Jeuda, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield South said, “I am disappointed that the Conservatives on Cheshire East Cabinet have refused to make a commitment to accepting Syrian refugees into Cheshire East. I do hope