Lambeth has always been a place of refuge for those who have needed it and we will ensure that it continues to be so in these difficult circumstances. I am pleased that Lambeth, working with London Councils, have led the way in calling for the Government to accept more refugees and we stand ready to play our part in helping to accommodate Syrian refugee families.
Today’s announcement therefore should be welcomed and we look forward to working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on a clear plan to resettle vulnerable people in our community. However, it is worrying that the Prime Minister only offered details of funding for the first year of the five-year visa programme for refugees; the Government must offer a clearer framework of funding and support for local authorities.
The slow and unsure response of this Government stands in great contrast to the many heartening offers of support across the country, and in Lambeth, for refugees. From local collections of clothing and food such as those organised by Lambeth staff and trade unions and many offers of accommodation for Syrian families to the letters I have received from residents demanding action and support, the people of this borough have demonstrated an incredible generosity of spirit that the Government should now match. As a Council, Lambeth will be assessing our temporary accommodation capacity and working with DCLG to determine how best we can support those most in need. We will keep our residents informed about developments in the coming weeks.
-Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council