As of today, Enfield Borough has failed to take any Syrian refugees through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Despite supporting a motion promising that “this Council will work with other London Councils to play a part in a national response to the crisis”, Enfield Council has yet to resettle a single refugee though the scheme. Instead, Boroughs such as Camden, Islington and Lambeth have disproportionately borne the responsibility and weight of compassion across the Capital.
David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, said: “Considering the Government has now made it ‘crystal clear’ that the UK must prioritise the safety and security of children who are eligible for resettlement to the UK, I disappointed that Enfield Council are not following other London Councils in providing places for child refugees following relocation schemes.
Mr Burrowes took to Radio 4 as well as the chamber on Monday to call on local authorities to deliver on their commitment to take their fair share of vulnerable children who have a legal right to be in the UK.
Questioning Home Secretary Amber Rudd, he raised concern that planned shelters would be insufficient to accommodate all child refugees should the French authorities fail to accept the French Red Cross offer of a child centre.
Although Enfield has additionally accepted 70 unaccompanied asylum seeking children, this too compares poorly with other London Boroughs. Hillingdon has so far taken 110, whilst Croydon has taken 430.
Last Wednesday, Cllr Orhan of Enfield Council responded to repeated calls for the Council to take action, stating that ‘once the Government has sorted out the paperwork for the children at Calais, we are ready and waiting to take many more’. Mr Burrowes immediately responded, saying that ‘The paperwork has been sorted. The clock is ticking. When is Enfield going to honour its promise?’