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Local Councillors Help Calais Refugees

14 October 2015
Karl and Paul Local Labour Councillors will travel to Calais to deliver money and supplies to refugees stranded there.

Southwark councillors Karl Eastham and Paul Fleming will go to Calais at end of October, and are looking for donations from local people who feel helpless to support in the refugee crisis gripping Europe.

The local Labour Party representatives contacted two charities working on the ground in Calais who need money, clothes, toiletries and cooking equipment urgently. In addition to providing supplies and money, the councillors hope to help building shelters and storage areas in preparation for a cold winter.

Cllr Karl Eastham, who speaks French and Arabic, said ‘I worked with refugees and asylum seekers for two years before becoming a teacher and a councillor. I know that those without official documents are some of the most vulnerable people on the continent, as they have no access to welfare or housing.’ 

Cllr Paul Fleming added ‘It is a disgrace that there are people in Calais who have to rely on charity because governments have failed to help. We are confident that the people of Southwark will rise to the challenge and help us donate equipment and money to these desperate people. We’re putting Labour principles into action while the Conservative government dithers and delays, leaving vulnerable people in unbearable circumstances.’

The news of the trip comes after a recent appeal from council leader Peter John to central government that they ensure there is adequate funding to support local authorities in meeting the needs of refugee families who may come to Southwark. Southwark was one of the first councils to publicly state it would welcome refugees to the borough.

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