POLL: 78% of Southwark News readers would NOT welcome refugees

News Desk (17 September, 2015)

A huge majority of readers who responded to the poll answered ‘no’ to our question: “Should Southwark accept refugees fleeing from war-torn countries?”

5122Children in Zaatari camp credit Sam Tarling/ Oxfam

Southwark Council has applauded the “brilliant groundswell of public support” for refugees during the current humanitarian crisis – as a News survey reveals that 78% of our readers would NOT welcome them into the borough.

While generous collections in aid of refugees were held in Dulwich and Herne Hill last week, a huge majority of the first 100 readers to respond to our online survey answered ‘no’ to the question: “Should Southwark accept refugees fleeing from war-torn countries?”

Many cited overcrowding, a lack of available housing and an infrastructure that was “fit to burst” as reasons for turning away refugees. Others claimed that it was Southwark’s moral responsibility to accept those in need.

Cllr Fiona Colley, Southwark Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, said the council was “ready and willing to support refugees.”

She said: “I can understand that some of your readers have concerns about our limited council resources being diverted to help refugees when there are already people in need in Southwark. I think there is a balance to be struck. Councils have made it clear to government that they must provide adequate funding to support any refugees we take in.”

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