‘Hurry up’: Campaigners urge Hackney Council to house Syrian refugees

CitizensUK Hackney is calling on the council to fulfil its pledge to house seven refugee families

CitizensUK Hackney is calling on the council to fulfil its pledge to house seven refugee families - Credit: Archant

Campaigners delivered pictures of Paddington bear to councillors in Hackney, calling on them to “speed up” the process of housing a promised seven Syrian refugee families here.

Mayor Philip Glanville pledged to resettle them by Christmas, at community organising group from CitizensUK Hackney’s hustings before he was voted in.

To date three families have been resettled, with the council blaming Home Office bureaucracy for the delay.

Community groups like the Alevi Cultural Centre, which are members of CitizensUK in Hackney, have been working to find properties for the families, and want to ensure they will move in by March.

Rev Rosemia Brown, Anglican area Dean of Hackney, said: “We are proud Hackney is willing to help, but we want the process to speed up.”

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General secretary of the Turkish and Kurdish community centre in Ridley Road, Dalston, Ruhi Altunn, added: “We, the Alevi community in Hackney, know first hand the plight of refugees.

“That’s why we are doing all we can to encourage private landlords to resettle Syrian families - this is our responsibility and want to give a warm welcome.”

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Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said the Home Office has assured him they are “working as quickly as possible”.

“Hackney has now welcomed 11 refugees as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement scheme run by the government,” he said.

“We are proud of the borough’s role as a place of sanctuary, including offering spaces for children from Calais and we are expecting four more families to be re-settled here.”

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