There are times when national issues spill over into local issues, with media outlet coverage filling our screens alongside radio air time; the migrant crisis is one that we can not ignore any longer in relation to Otterpool Town. The issues of overcrowding and a lack of infrastructure are well documented, but here we pull no punches, giving due consideration to HM Government documents and respected news outlets.
Since the announcement by Shepway District Council to build a 12,000 dwelling new town, there isn’t a week that goes by where local residents ask whether or not a proportion of the Town is to accommodate migrants. The fact of the matter is that we simply don’t know.
The United Kingdom has always had a long tradition of welcoming both law abiding migrants and people in need of help: refugees, fleeing with their families in fear of persecution or even losing their lives, whether due to war or tyrannical dictators. In that respect, we should be proud of showing friendship and compassion to genuine refugees, encouraging them to assimilate into our culture and way of life, showing deference to their own religion, whatever it may be. In return, we expect the same.
The recent reports of dinghies on beaches spanning from Dungeness to Deal, highlights the illegality of peoples entering the United Kingdom. More often than not, stowaways on lorries seem to be the preferred access route in. In other reports, migrants walking through the channel tunnel have been spotted with some losing their lives.
Any life lost is a tragedy regardless of race or religion. The fact that migrants have come from countries that are not war torn or ruled by an evil despotic dictator, but are simply cultural backwaters, traversing safe countries, choosing not to claim asylum in those safe countries, indicates that these people are economic migrants, giving real cause for concern among local residents.
Moreover, illegal traffickers, even Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), are putting migrants lives at risk by assisting them in their quest to come to the UK.
Stories of migrants tenanted in lavish homes, being given cars and luxury goods, on the back of the UK taxpayer are tabloid headlines that can usually never be proven. The task of researching and getting to grips with the state benefits received by asylum seekers is somewhat labyrinthian, but a simple UK Government document setting out the benefits given to asylum seekers, whether they be genuine or not, is shown here: https://www.gov.uk/asylum-support/what-youll-get
Affordable housing is an issue that constantly rears its head, with the majority of young families within our district desperately struggling to meet high rents with little chance of saving a deposit to purchase a home to call their own. Another concern of many residents is the claim that our Government is building homes for migrants, taking priority over our own indigenous population. Our research has uncovered a document from Reuters New Agency whereby on the 8th January, 2019 Serco and Mears were awarded contracts totalling 2.9 billion pounds from the British Government to provide accommodation and support for migrants purporting to be asylum seekers. The document goes on to state that a total of 4 billion pounds will be spent on this type of construction, with 1.9 billion being awarded to Serco, headed by Rupert Soames, whose brother is Sir Nicholas Soames, Conservative Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex, whose political interests, among many, is International relations. Please click on the link to read the document: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-serco-group-contract/serco-mears-win-2-9-billion-refugee-housing-contracts-in-britain-idUKKCN1P216Z
We have only touched upon the migrant issue here to dispel any rumour, hearsay or myths surrounding the migrant issue locally. We will leave others to debate the national issues surrounding the migrant crisis, hoping that the issue isn’t weaponised any further than it already is by political groups for their own ends, whatever political group or bodies they may be.
Should you wish to contact your Member of Parliament Damian Collins, the leader of Folkestone and Hythe District Council David Monk or Rupert Soames of Serco to enquire about any points relating to our post, here’s a list below.
Damian Collins MP. House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Tel: 020 7219 7072. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Monk, 23 Minter Avenue, Densole, Kent, CT18 7DS. 01303 891001. Email: email@example.com.
Rupert Soames. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 01256 745900. https://www.serco.com
On reflection, it is clear that our generosity and tolerance is being perceived as weakness by others from outside of these shores; it would be a grave mistake to conflate the two. It would also be a grave mistake for our own District Council to ignore the evolving rancor and opprobrium among residents against a Stasi style Cabal operating within the Civic Centre.
No doubt there will many comments forthcoming to this website. That’s what free speech and democracy is all about. And let’s not forget, that dissent is not a crime (yet). Your views are always appreciated.
May your God go with you.