Norfolk council chief invites church leaders and football club to Syria crisis meeting

Norfolk County Council switches on its first fibre broadband cabinet, in Croxton.     George Nobbs (leader of County Council), Kev Black (from BT), Bob King (Parish Council Chairman) and Hilary Cox. ENGANL00120130507122324
Norfolk County Council switches on its first fibre broadband cabinet, in Croxton. George Nobbs (leader of County Council), Kev Black (from BT), Bob King (Parish Council Chairman) and Hilary Cox. ENGANL00120130507122324

The leader of Norfolk County Council has called for political and community leaders to attend a meeting to discuss the county’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

The move follows yesterday’s announcement by prime minister David Cameron that Britain would admit another 20,000 refugees from the conflict by 2020.

County council leader George Nobbs has written to the leaders of all the other parties represented at County Hall and community leaders including the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, and Norwich City Football Club on the issue.

He has invited them to attend a meeting to discuss how the county responds to the emergency.

Mr Nobbs said this morning: “We have all been shocked by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and the plight of the Syrian refugees.

“Local government is being called upon to accommodate more refugees and, in these circumstances, I believe the issue requires a whole community response.

“I therefore propose to convene a group of community leaders from local government and other bodies to co-ordinate our efforts across Norfolk. I am confident we in Norfolk can work together to the best effect.

“County Council officers have been making urgent enquiries to officials in the Home Office and the Local Government Association to find out how the government intends to ensure that local government and the NHS is adequately funded to take on this responsibility. “This is critical, given the pressure our services are currently under.”

A petition urging the county council to accept 50 of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria has now been signed by more than 1,500 people.