Empty Ministry of Defence homes in Ely could be used to house Syrian refugees

PUBLISHED: 10:52 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:52 09 September 2015

Lorna Dupre (Lib Dem)

Lorna Dupre (Lib Dem)

Archant

Empty Ministry of Defence homes at Ely could be used for Syrian refugees if East Cambs Council gets the go ahead from Government to help the crisis.

The news comes amid a plea from the Bishop of Ely to support those who have fled the conflict.

Following questions by Sutton councillor Lorna Dupre a letter to her from East Cambs District Council says: “Central Government has made a clear commitment to take 20,000 refugees from camps in Syria and if we at East Cambs are requested to take some of these refugees and there is Government funding to do so, we will.

“Unlike some other authorities we do not have housing stock but we are aware of empty Ministry of Defence housing in Ely and will contact the Ministry to see if these houses may be utilised.”

The council added it would also like to offer its services to those members of the public who may wish to register their houses as potential homes for refugees.

“To help this the appropriate council officer has been asked to hold a list of those offering their rooms. She will advise customer services staff of this so that they can transfer the calls through to the housing team,” the letter states.

Rt Revd Stephen Conway said: “The refugees’ burden of fear, loss and deprivation is our burden. We must find a language of welcome, not suspicion.

“We should be proud of Britain’s ongoing commitment to overseas aid and humanitarian relief. We must support people in refugee camps in and around Syria.

“And we also have a responsibility within Europe to share the burden of countries like Greece and Italy, among the first entry points.

“Britain must participate fully in a European welcome for those who are vulnerable and fleeing violence and oppression.

“We must welcome all – Muslim and Christians equally, but we should remember that many refugees are Christians from villages which have lived the faith since Apostolic times.

“I invite us all to continue to pray and to consider what other help we may provide, for example supporting one of the charities at work on the ground.”

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