The DUP group on the new ABC Council are actively working with Council to “prepare for the arrival of refugees”.
Speaking on behalf of the DUP, Ald Carla Lockhart said, “On Friday, when it was evident that the Prime Minister was moving towards changing the UK policy on the acceptance of refugees, our group immediately recognised the need to prepare and map for such an eventuality and the outworkings of Northern Ireland having to open its borders to refugees. I spoke with the Chief Executive of the Council and indicated a strong need for this process to be carefully managed to ensure that both residents of the Borough and the refugees felt safe and prepared for the arrival.
“Council can and will play a key role given that we now have the powers for community planning which enacts a legislative requirement to get statutory bodies around the table to plan for the future be it housing, health, education, and infrastructure. It is unclear how many will be relocating to NI and subsequently the Upper Bann area have requested an emergency planning committee, led by Council, to help prepare and organise the response of this area to the arrival of refugees.”