Wokingham will welcome Syrian refugees and set up support networks for them.
That’s the promise made by the leader of Wokingham Borough Council, councillor Keith Baker.
He made the pledge responding to a question posed by members of Churches Together in Wokingham at a Council meeting held on Thursday, September 17.
The Revd Nick Hudson, minister of Wokingham Baptist Church, stood in for the Revd Patrick King from St Paul’s Church to ask:
“Given how quickly the refugee crisis has developed, even in the past week; beyond sympathy and signposting will the council be actively welcoming refugees into the borough and supporting those who are offering their homes?”
Cllr Baker said that the Council is working out its response “as we speak” but plans were being delayed awaiting official advice.
“Until we get guidance we can’t commit as to how we will welcome them. We will monitor (the situation) closely and act quickly when we know what the situation is, but we will welcome refugees.”
Responding, Mr Hudson asked what else the Council will do.
He said: “Will the council look to establish a group to work with other community groups to provide that welcome.”
Cllr Baker said: “Absolutely. Voluntary organisations, churches in particular, will have an absolute part to play.
“We will engage with them to maximise that impact.”