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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

If anyone might like to sign this petition, now is a great time to tell our council that we want refugees to be resettled here in Haringey. Especially as just now the government is starting a consultation with local authorities to help decide how many lone children can be resettled in the UK.

The original figure of 3000 was dropped from the amendment to the immigration bill, but we can reach that figure if each local authority resettles just 5 children.

Please do sign and help to transform some lives!

38degrees.org.uk/petitions/refugees-welcome-in-haringey

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Hi Ros,

Great that you have set up this petition! I'm not sure if you're aware of the campaign group Refugees Welcome Haringey? We've been campaigning in the borough since last year, as one of the 89 Refugees Welcome groups set up across the country under the Citizens UK national campaign. We've been focusing on getting families into Haringey via the Vulnerable Person Resettlement scheme, but have also recently asked the Council what they plan to do on resettling children. Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved. Our email is refugees welcomeharingey@gmail.com and we have a Facebook group.

All the best, Lucy.

There may be no room in Haringey for refugees from the Middle East.

There are nearly 10,000 impoverished people on the Haringey waiting list for council accommodation. There are nearly 2,000 people living in emergency bed and breakfast as provided by the Council.

If you cared for the poorest local people, you would not give away their homes to people from far away. There are places in the UK which are far less crowded, are more suitable and able to take in more residents.

High rents and a big shortage of low cost housing are caused by mass immigration to the uk of nearly a million people every three years.  If we were able to control our borders and immigration we could offer more homes to refugees.

Because we have one of the best economies and some of the highest wages, we are very attractive to  workers from all 27 countries in the EU, and they are able to flood here and compete with local people for homes.

 

I think that your concerns are not uncommon ones. But perhaps you can see the inconsistency when you say both that we cannot afford to help house refugees, and also that we have one of the best economies.
The fact that the government is choosing to sell off our council housing and to make huge cuts to our local facilities is not because we are a poor country. And we can afford to help if the will to do so exists.
Many thousands of people are ready and waiting to offer rooms in their homes.
A common misconception about refugees is that they are a burden on society. In fact refugees as a group are less likely to make use of benefits and council housing. They are likely to be working as soon as they are legally able to do so. They are likely to contribute more than they take. If we are able to provide safe passage for refugees, they are also able to bring with them the funds that otherwise they have to spend paying people smugglers. And they can then use that money to support themselves on arrival in the UK.
An asylum seeker waiting for their status to be confirmed received only £5 a day to live off.
There are many ways we can look to help poor Londoners. And we should. But refusing asylum and refuge is not the way to do that. If we share the responsibility of resettling refugees across the whole UK, and the whole of Europe, the numbers in each place would be so small as to be very manageable indeed

Hi Ros

Hope you are well. You know me from the foodbank. I am happy to sign the petition, not lest because it can show the strength of feeling to the Council etc. Last year they did convene a forum of interested peoples for some Syrian refugees to be resettled in Haringey under the leadership of Tamara Djuretic. This was followed up  by Sanjay McIntosh as the contact. Having spoken to Alem Gebrehiwot of the organisation Embrace only last week the lack of action is explained like this; The cost of accommodation in London is a major barrier to Syrian refugees being resettled here. It seems that the government wants a 'united ' approach by London Councils on this issue. This as can be predicted was not possible. Also, Haringey Council do seem reluctant to 'go out on a limb' on this issue.

Last Sunday at a cross church service at the Bernie Grant arts centre in Tottenham a commitment was made on behalf of quite a few Haringey churches to treat and welcome refugees and asylum seekers as fellow citizens.  Arguably the same could be applied to other migrants, whom many are facing big challenges in living in London due to changes in benefit entitlement and low wages etc.  One useful scheme is that provided by the Jesuit Refugee service which runs a hosting service where people can take refugees / asylum seekers in. There would appear to be room to develop other services in addition to this and those of the likes Embrace and the Haringey Migrant centre.

Hi there! Thanks so much for this. It's very helpful. Are they taking into account the number of people prepared to offer their homes to refugees? Do you know if the council are including initiatives such as that from the Jesuits in their thinking?
Do you know who at the council is best to approach about this?
If every council in the UK took just 8 people we could empty Calais...
Hope all's well with you!

Hi Ros,

The contact I have named is Dr Tamara Djuretic, Assistant Director Public Health  . The reply you posted from Councillor Elin Weston is a fair summary of what I know too about the current situation for the hosting of Syrian refugees in Haringey. As mentioned before the Jesuit refugee Service and praxis are developing hosting of refugees. Also there was an event held in April hosted by Housing Justice http://www.housingjustice.org.uk/events.php/128/london-hosting-open... . This shows a consortium of faith organisations involved.

As regards Lucy's request I am having a meeting this Friday with one of the church leaders, which I will raise the way forward post the recent service, amongst other things. I will get back to you after this. However, I am not able to meet up etc until the week beginning June 6th at the earliest.

Hi Dexter,

Thanks very much and we'd be very happy to have the opportunity to meet with you after June 6th. We have met with Tamara and other civil society/faith groups as part of a new working group and are keen to move things forward. Please feel free to email us at refugeeswelcomeharingey@gmail.com.

Best wishes,

Lucy

Dr Djuretic's job title prompts a question.  Do/will all Syrian refugees undergo full medical screening prior to settlement?  A pragmatic approach may be kinder and safer for all of us in the longer term, especially in London.

I personally do not accept the "if everybody gave/did ..." argument in any cause.  It is simply unrealistic and takes no account of individual circumstances and preferences.  In this case of conscription, I am a conscientious objector.

I had this today from Councillor Elin Weston:

"Haringey Council is fully committed to playing its part in a co-ordinated regional response to the refugee crisis and is working with the GLA towards this. Although this regional response has not yet been finalised as negotiations continue, we have been working closely with our voluntary and community sector groups including Haringey CAB, Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Embrace UK to ensure that Haringey is ready to offer appropriate support when called upon. This has lead to an agreement to set up a task force led by the voluntary sector that will work to oversee the re-settlement process in Haringey.

We have our own webpage (which will be updated whenever new information is available) at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/refugees, and there is more information on the regional approach on the Local Government Association website: http://www.local.gov.uk/refugees.

In terms of practical help from local residents, the Refugees Welcome UK group are currently looking for landlords willing to rent out their property to a Syrian refugee at Local Housing Allowance rates - if you or anyone you know would like to consider doing so please contact Rose by emailing refugeeswelcomeharingey@gmail.com"

Hi Ros,

I gather Rose has been in touch and you've arranged to meet to talk about your activities and the Refugees Welcome Haringey campaign? Looking forward to finding out more about your campaign work and hopefully meeting you at some point!

All the best,

Lucy

Hi Dexter,

I'm a member of the Refugees Welcome Haringey campaign and we are campaigning to get Syrian refugee families resettled in the borough through the Government resettlement scheme. We're in touch with the council and various civil society organisations across the borough including Embrace UK and HMSC, as well as some faith organisations. We're actively seeking private landlords who'd be willing to house refugees and are keen to be in touch with other interested parties who could help us do this. We'd really like to make contact with more of the faith organisations across the borough, so it's really interesting to read your post and to hear about the cross church service at the Bernie Grant Centre.   We'd love to be in touch with you to find out more about what you're doing! Is there a suitable time/place that we may be able to meet you? Our email address is refugeeswelcomeharingey@gmail.com and you can get in touch with either myself or our coordinator Rose at that address. Hoping to hear from you.

All the best,

Lucy Nabijou

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