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Controversy over asylum debate

IT was an issue which caused controversy from the start.

IT was an issue which caused controversy from the start.

The suggestion of a night shelter for failed asylum seekers in the old school building in Kirkheaton caused emotions to run high in the village.

Many came out in opposition of the suggestion, saying it was not a suitable place for people to sleep.

Others were in favour of the plan to help vulnerable people on what was always meant to be a temporary basis.

Whatever the merits of both sides of the issue, it is right that in a democracy all sides of the argument should be heard.

And a public meeting took place for people to hear more about the application and put their views forward.

But emotions were running high and there has been suggestion that there was a lack of reasonable debate.

The voices in favour, very much in the minority, were overwhelmed by those against.

It is right that majority rules, which is how all major decisions are made, whether it be at elections, local authority or government.

But there has been an opportunity missed to debate what help can be offered to failed asylum seekers stuck in limbo.

It’s doubtful it will ever happen in Kirkheaton, but it may fall to a section of the community elsewhere in Huddersfield to step in and see if they can help between four and ten asylum seekers who are not able to receive help anywhere else due to their application to stay being declined.

If that debate moves elsewhere, it falls to the councillors and residents to secure a reasonable debate, with all parties being allowed to speak and a sensible decision taken in the best interests of all the community.


Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent