Kent Greens have welcomed the news that the country is to be allowed to take more child refugees following today's announcement by the government, but they have warned that councils will need financial support to ensure this is possible.
Martin Whybrow, Green Party Kent County Council member, said: "The passing of the buck by central government to local authorities with regard to the UK taking its fair share of child refugees from Europe is better than nothing. However, it needs to be backed up by adequate funding from central government, otherwise councils - which have seen their budgets slashed in recent years - will not be able to step up.
"In Kent, the county council has experienced a steep increase in the number of young unaccompanied asylum seekers and, to date, it has proved extremely difficult to persuade other councils to accept them, leaving many in a state of limbo, without the long-term certainty and security that they need. It is this country's moral duty to accept far more refugees than it is doing at present, but merely stating that councils can accept more if they want to without sufficient funding could be just a token gesture."
Stuart Jeffery, Co-Chair of Kent Greens, commented: "Across the county there are people working and campaigning to support the desperate circumstances that the refugees find themselves in, so it is great to hear that the UK is going to be able to provide sanctuary to more vulnerable people. Groups such as 'Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees' are working hard to make refugees welcome in Kent, which is clear evidence of the amount of compassion that local people have."