A year and a half on the from the outbreak of the refugee crisis, Brexit has seized the driving seat for debate in parliament. However, are Bournemouth Council doing enough on a smaller scale?
The British Government in 2014 announced that it would help to resettle 20,000 families. Bournemouth council have agree to welcome 11, yet, many others have accepted more. With under 2000 having been resettled in May of this year, it seems the Government is woefully short of meeting its own target. I spoke to Irwin Buchanan to get a better idea of Bournemouth’s refugee crisis.
Since the VPR was set up, one year later just two families have come into Dorset and Buchanan highlighted to me that the view that simply “giving people a room – that’s not going to work”.
Providing refugees with quality of life has put forward some challenging obstacles. “The difficulty is housing, it’s definitely housing.” he told me, “All the local authorities have agreed to receive families at a councillor level but the actual working of that sometimes takes months”. Buchanan congratulated Bournemouth council on being the first to welcome refugee families under the VPR scheme, but, despite this, he still thinks that the Council has a tendency to “sit on their hands until they have to do something”.
What’s required is more work together. Irwin expressed a desire for more of what he called “joined up thinking”, whereby authorities work together, each lending help from their specialist field to process refugees.