Chorley Council in talks as it considers refugee support

Migrants and refugees disembark from a ferry arriving from the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Piraeus, Greece, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The front-line border nations of Greece, Italy and Hungary as well as non-EU members Serbia and Macedonia have been overwhelmed by the thousands surging across their border. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Migrants and refugees disembark from a ferry arriving from the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Piraeus, Greece, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The front-line border nations of Greece, Italy and Hungary as well as non-EU members Serbia and Macedonia have been overwhelmed by the thousands surging across their border. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

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Fleeing refugees could be on their way to Chorley.

Chorley Council is in discussions with government authorities to offer its support during the humanitarian crisis unfolding across Europe.

Town hall bosses say Chorley is keen to do its bit to help and is holding discussions to see if the borough can help in any way.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s been very distressing to see the images on the news and it is right that we offer our support and help out where we can.

“We’ve seen a groundswell of support from local people on social media with residents wanting to support those affected by the crisis and we’d be happy to have a discussion with those co-ordinating activities locally to see if we can help them too.

“We’ve been working with the authorities to see if we can help and we’re just waiting to see what support they need.”

The council will be contacting its housing providers to see what availability there is with a view to hosting a number of refugees in the borough.

“We will continue to have discussions internally at the council while we assess what support we can give,” said Councillor Bradley.

“Once we have more information about what’s possible we’ll keep people updated on progress.”

The £12bn international aid budget would be used to help councils such as Chorley house people, Chancellor George Osborne said at the weekend.

Meanwhile, people accross Lancashire have been rallying together to offer their support, with various groups have sprung up on Facebook asking for donations of clothing and food supplies which will be collected and sent to a refugee camp in Calais as part of a national convoy.

Jan Coyne, 35, from Clayton­Le­Woods has created the ‘Chorley’s Solidarity With Refugees’ Facebook group and said: “It’s easy for a lot of us to sit back and feel sorry for people looking at their picture but something just clicked in me a few days ago that made me decide we’ve had enough sitting back hoping someone else will do something about it.

“I’m absolutely amazed at the Chorley people ­ I’m humbled by them really. I’ve had almost 150 people join the Facebook group within 24 hours offering to do fund­raising and donate.

“I think that the generosity that the people of Chorley and Lancashire have will help make this work.

“We are all human beings. It doesn’t matter where we’re from and where we live ­ it’s about coming together and doing something positive to help these people”.

A recent petition urging the government to review its support for refugees currently has around 450,000 supporters.