Local councils have been subject to stringent cuts in funding from the Conservative government in recent years, and these cuts - in the case of DCC - have been a hugely contributory factor in the dimunition of funding for local services such youth centres, CABs and register offices; and the drastic cuts to support for bus services and social services provision, amongst other things.
Nonetheless since its decision to stop the scheme seems to have been taken without consulting, the Liberal Democrats are calling on local councils such as DCC to protest against the Government’s decision to walk away from its commitment to take child refugees from Europe, especially many local authorities at all, and is being challenged in the courts by the Refugee Council.
Last year, after an outpouring of public support, the Conservative Government was forced to accept an amendment to the Immigration Bill offering sanctuary to vulnerable, lone child refugees trapped in Europe. Less than a year after that decision, only 350 children have been taken in (as against the original 3000 first mentioned) and the scheme is being closed. Local authorities are being blamed for this decision, with the Government pointing to a lack of capacity.
The Liberal Democrats call upon local authorities to make representations to Government for more funding to allow them to host more vulnerable refugee children, if they have the capacity to do so.
Dorset County Council, amongst others, must stand up against the Government’s attempt to pass the buck on their failure to support lone child refugees. There is a groundswell of people with decency and humanity in our community which wants to welcome these stricken, impoverished and unaccompanied children who have no other resources - and the Government should reflect this worthy sentiment by giving local authorities the financial resources needed to enable
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate,