Former Harrogate mayor opens up his house to Syrian refugees

NADV 1509079AM Geoff and Pat Webber who have offered  their spare bedroom to Syrian family. (1509079AM)
NADV 1509079AM Geoff and Pat Webber who have offered their spare bedroom to Syrian family. (1509079AM)

With thousands of Syrian refugees set to be resettled in Britain, a former Harrogate mayor has generously offered to open up his home.

Alderman, Geoff Webber and his Pat, have kindly offered the spare room in their Harrogate home to a refugee couple and has called on other residents to follow suit.

Harrogate Borough Council is expected to agree to accommodate some Syrian refugees in light of the developing migrant crisis.

And the former mayor believes the majority of the Harrogate population would be willing to accommodate the refugees who have escaped ‘desperate’ situations.

He said: “I have been campaigning for this government to take a more responsible stance on this for months and, I believe, if you’re willing to shout about it you should be willing to put your money where your mouth is.

“I’m very pleased that the government has decided to do something about this and I think a lot of people would be willing to do the same as I am.

“My wife and I both work for the homeless project and it always surprises me the number of people who generously come forward when they know you’re involved in something.

“People are very generous when they know something is available. There is a website being advertised at the moment where you can accept a Syrian.”

Earlier this week, David Cameron said the UK had a ‘moral responsibility’ to those living in camps bordering Syria while doing all it can to end the conflict there.

The national issue came to a head after images emerges of drowned three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose body was found washed up on a Greek beach.

Mr Webber described the images as ‘traumatic’ but stressed that Aylan was not the first casualty of the crisis.

He said: “The boy washed up on the beach is a true tear jerker all around but he was not the first to drown in this crisis.

“There have been hundreds of people who have died during this crisis and, as you will know, they are living in appalling conditions through no fault of their own.”

“People have had their homes destroyed and they are caught between warring factions and they are living in desperate conditions.

“It’s up to the whole of the UK to step up and do something about it. I have never done it before but if noone stuck their heads above the parapet then we would never get anywhere”