Council boss: Let us help Syrian refugees

A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number  were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized
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Council leader Barrie Grunewald has accused David Cameron of turning his back on the growing migrant crisis - and pledged St Helens will play its part in offering sanctuary to refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Coun Grunewald says the town has a proud history of offering shelter to those in need and will respond to the current situation in the same tradition.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald says St Helens wants to provide more help to migrants fleeing war-torn Syria

Council leader Barrie Grunewald says St Helens wants to provide more help to migrants fleeing war-torn Syria

The current emergency was brought into sharp focus earlier this week when photographs emerged of dead young children who drowned when the boat they were travelling in across the Mediterranean Sea capsized.

Coun Grunewald joined town hall leaders from across Merseyside demanding they be allowed to help the growing number of refugees fleeing Syria.

In a letter to 10 Downing Street, they argue that the Government’s decision not to join the United Nations’ UNHCR resettlement scheme should be reversed immediately.

Coun Grunewald, deputy chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “Refugees should be removed from the Government’s migration target, and we should urgently work with our European partners to help deal with this crisis.

Refugees should be removed from the Government’s migration target, and we should urgently work with our European partners to help deal with this crisis

Council leader Barrie Grunewald

“Our city region was built by people who came from all over. We are proud to welcome people from around the world to come and make their life here - and even more proud when those people need us to give them sanctuary.”

The letter goes on to state Merseyside’s leaders believe the Prime Minister has turned his back on “some of the most vulnerable people in the world”.

But they stress they are willing to work with him if he is prepared to change his mind.

“Liverpool and its surrounding areas are places of sanctuary,” added Coun Grunewald.

A child cries as migrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary

A child cries as migrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary

“We’re simply asking the Prime Minister not to stand in our way as we try to offer shelter to those who so desperately need it.”

Migrants and refugees paddling a rubber dinghy close to the beach at Psalidi near Kos Town, Kos, Greece

Migrants and refugees paddling a rubber dinghy close to the beach at Psalidi near Kos Town, Kos, Greece