Need to act over Syria

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It was recently revealed that Sunderland Council was liaising with the Government to offer assistance to refugees from Syria.

This is in response to the Government’s pledge to offer asylum to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.

While I agree that we must help the Syrian people, almost £1 billion has already been spent in helping the most vulnerable people affected by the ongoing civil war. It would be unwise to introduce large numbers of people to the city while we have a housing waiting list of more than 2,000 families.

A large influx of people into the city will simply raise tension and put pressure on services that the council has continually classed as ‘over stretched’.

We must place an emphasis on halting the war in Syria, by force if needed. Only then will we stop the flow of refugees and give them a real chance to build a future and rebuild their country.

Two years ago we had a chance to intervene in Syria and protect the most vulnerable people. Sadly, we had a weak Ed Miliband leading the Labour Party and playing politics while Syrian people were gassed.

The refugee crisis that we now face is the result.

Many will argue that it’s not our fight but we have a responsibility to act to ensure that our own borders are secure.

You cannot ignore international events because they certainly won’t ignore you.

Dominic McDonough