Would be Labour leader spreading misinformation and mistrust about refugees in RCT

The recent European Union referendum has brought out the very worst in our society intensifying existing racist tendencies in some and spreading misinformation and an air of distrust in our communities.

Our elected representatives and community leaders should be trying to unite people in these circumstances and not spread any more rumours.

I was dismayed, therefore, to hear the comments of Owen Smith speaking on Newsnight alleging that local schools are under pressure from 'significant numbers into South Wales of people fleeing the Middle East.'

This is, quite simply, a lie. At the beginning of August I emailed the Council's Chief Executive to ask what the situation was regarding the placing of Syrian refugees in RCT following a newspaper article that suggested Councils in Wales were not doing their share when it came to offering places for these poor people.

His response was that whilst Cabinet had decided that they would offer to resettle 50 people they had at that point, and I quote, "4 families, 24 individuals and of those, 13 are children attending school in RCT."

Just thirteen children in the whole of RCT, whilst his Labour Council colleagues are busy closing schools across the county because they do not have sufficient pupils attending them. Certainly not all of these would be in Mr Smith's Pontypridd constituency, so how on earth he can claim schools are under pressure or there are significant numbers of pupils here is beyond me.

Mr Smith is quite obviously pandering to those who are demanding tighter controls on immigration and the hysteria which confuses illegal immigrants with refugees and pits communities and individuals against these desperate individuals who would no doubt have liked nothing more than to be able to stay in their own homes.

I hope none of them are unfortunate enough to be housed close to the would-be Labour leader as they obviously would not be welcome.

Cllr Mike Powell

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