Council steps in to offer accommodation in Derbyshire for refugees

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Refugees fleeing the deepening global humanitarian crisis could be given refuge in Derbyshire after council leaders extended an offer to UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Anne Western says the county would again be willing to act as a reception centre for refugees as it did during the Kosovan crisis in 1999.

She said: “What is happening across the globe is absolutely tragic. Death and suffering on this scale should not be happening and it couldn’t be clearer that more needs to be done to help.

“Derbyshire is a caring county and I’ve been contacted by people wanting to help. We opened a reception centre when the Kosovan people were in dire need in the late 1990s and we’d be willing to do the same now.

“Every day more and more people are dying. We must act fast and I hope Mr Cameron will take us up on our offer. It isn’t just about people in Syrian refugee camps but the thousands risking their lives on a daily basis as they find any way possible to travel across Europe.

“I’m sure we won’t be alone in offering to do what we can to ease the suffering.”

Kosovan refugees were housed at Stretton House, a former residential special school near Clay Cross, when they were flown out of the war-torn country in 1999.

Council officers are now assessing what accommodation could be readied at short notice to accommodate refugees if they were to come to Derbyshire.