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Conservative Councillors Turn Their Backs on Vulnerable Children

January 13, 2018 10:03 AM
By Jason Billin

Lone child refugeeRushcliffe Liberal Democrats have been calling on Nottinghamshire County Council to reverse their morally indefensible decision to withdraw from the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: interim national transfer scheme and urgently resume the acceptance of transferred lone refugee children in Nottinghamshire.

Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats spokesperson, Jason Billin, called on Nottinghamshire County Council to reverse this decision immediately.

Nottinghamshire County Council's Children and Young People's Committee decided (in July 2017) to withdraw from valuable schemes that help Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) - including the Dubs Scheme*.

This decision was made on financial grounds with no reference to the emotional or physical welfare of the young people involved.

The decision is based on a dubious claim that there will be a funding shortfall of £14,000 per UASC per year (an amount that according to the committee's own report is "approximated" and is therefore open to question).

In today's turbulent and increasingly hostile world, the decision to turn our backs on vulnerable and often traumatised young people amounts to a callous disregard to our moral duty to help those in most need.

This decision is one of petty penny-pinching and is morally indefensible and repugnant. It does nothing to help UASC, simply pushing the problem back on areas of the UK already overburdened.

It ignores Nottinghamshire's moral responsibility to take its fair share of children who simply want somewhere to settle, where they can rebuild shattered lives.

Nottinghamshire has a long tradition of compassion and acceptance of 'outsiders' and this decision flies in the face of all that is decent and humane.

Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats call on Nottinghamshire County council to reverse this decision immediately.

*The Dubs scheme
The Dubs Amendment refers to an amendment to the 2016 UK Immigration Act tabled by Lord Alf Dubs. It has since been incorporated into the law, as Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. Known as the 'Dubs scheme'.

The amendment stated that:
"The Secretary of State must, as soon as possible after the passing of this Act, make arrangements to relocate to the United Kingdom and support a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe."