Unpublished Letter to the Editor of the North Somerset Times:

Dear Editor

The article in last week’s North Somerset Times and Liam Fox’s comments about large swathes of the countryside being lost ‘possibly forever’ relates debates and decisions about housing and green spaces in North Somerset to immigration.  North Somerset Council’s decisions about protecting green spaces is not related to immigration for three reasons:

First, according to a 2nd February North Somerset Council report, Nigel Ashton has committed to housing 3 Syrian families/households across all the towns and villages in the whole of North Somerset. using Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme funding from central government. (Source, PDF)

Second, as a result of housing the three families/households this leaves North Somerset Council less likely to assist with those seeking asylum from war in the UK as the report states “Any decision to accommodate Syrian Refugees is likely to reduce North Somerset’s ability to take part in asylum seeker dispersal, given the pressures on the local housing market and services.”

Third, 190,809 of the 202,566 residents of North Somerset in 2011 census were born in the UK.  In 2013/4 the Office of National Statistics indicates that the balance of incoming long term international migration (offset against outgoing) was 285 people.  This volume is not responsible for the ‘protect our green spaces’ campaigns we see on our streets and social media. (Source)

It is very important to use facts to remain credible about matters of such importance.

 Angela Everitt

Secretary
North Somerset Constituency Labour Party