Borough councillor’s plan to house refugees in Bury
A Bury St Edmunds councillor is formulating a plan to help the town do its bit to help the European refugee crisis.
David Nettleton, St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Risbygate ward, believes an empty property in his ward could be used to house a family of refugees.
He is calling on Havebury Housing, which owns the house in Petch Close, to consider his suggestion and help make it habitable again.
“It is not plush but it is functional, and could provide a good home for people in dire circumstances,” he said.
“It is a solid brick house with three bedrooms. I am sure someone would like that, someone who is living in a tent at the moment.
“This property has been empty for six years, but with some work done on it, and if the church and volunteer organisations get involved, I am sure we can make it habitable.”
Cllr Nettleton is calling on local churches and organisations, including Bury-based charity Gatehouse, to get involved to ‘tidy the place up’.
The Suffolk county councillor suggested his idea could be implemented around Bury, but admitted he could not co-ordinate the effort alone.
“There may be other properties as well, you could have several within the parishes of Bury St Edmunds and all the villages have their own parishes too,” he said.
“If every parish in England takes a family it will not necessarily solve the problem, but it will be something.”
Cllr Nettleton added the Government is offering funding to local councils to help house families of refugees.
Once asylum seekers gain refugee status, central Government is responsible for housing them.
This week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the UK would resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.