Carmarthenshire to welcome Syrian refugees
Councillors in Carmarthenshire voted as one today to welcome Syrian refugees to the county.
In a special item allowed by Chair Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths at the end of Full Council today, the Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole called on all members to support his plea to help.
He revealed that the Chief Executive and senior officers were already looking into how Carmarthenshire could play its part.
Cllr Dole said: “This is a huge humanitarian crisis, there is a human and moral requirement upon us to support in a welcoming and positive way this crisis and these refugees.
“I celebrate the extraordinary courage of the refugees, and I call on the Welsh Government and the UK Government for an immediate response, and for us to declare we will play our part fully in welcoming with open arms people, not only to consider their plight, but to do something about it.”
The Leader quoted lines from the poem by John Donne ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ which starts with the famous line ‘No man is an island’ and ends by saying ‘never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
Cllr Dole added: “The bell tolls for us. These basic human rights transcend the rights of boundaries and the rights of sovereignty.
“We must choose very carefully how we treat the stranger amongst us, yes for them, but also for ourselves.
“Let’s ready ourselves to play our part and offer a home and security to people who have lived in fear and poverty for far too long, but we will also give them a welcome they will never forget.”
Cllr Hughes Griffiths said that he appreciated many councillors would wish to speak on the issue but his feeling was that council was united behind the Leader.
He asked if that was the case and by a show of hands everyone gave their support.
Chief Executive Mark James said he would convey the feelings of council to the WLGA chief officer immediately so they can be prepared for their meeting with the First Minister.