Bridgwater Sends Solidarity to Portland

Cllr Brian Smedley with Portland in the distance

At this week’s meeting of Bridgwater Trades Union Council delegates and supporters branded the decision to house 500 refugees, aged between 18-65, in what was a Prison Barge, in Portland Harbour as “inhumane and degrading”. Dorset anti-racists and trades unionists were guest speakers at this meeting and Bridgwater Trades Union Council delegates voted unanimously to pledge financial and practical support to the people of Portland, Weymouth and Dorset who have, in the face of some hostility, set up a campaign to support the refugees when they arrive. Bridgwater Trades Union Council is backing the campaign by building support across the South-West TUC. That message has been echoed by Cllr Brian Smedley Leader of Bridgwater Town Council who has written to Portland Labour Town Council Leader Jim Draper saying “As a Labour controlled council, we here at Bridgwater Town Labour Group, would like to welcome the   Trades Councils action and hereby send our own message of solidarity to you at this time.”

Cllr Smedley continued “Here in Bridgwater, we have a situation which is not specifically similar, but one where the Government has commandeered the Holiday inn for the housing of families which is of course a different challenge all together. However,  we are part of the support network set up to help these people and despite the limited intervention of the Far Right the residents and local community have rubbed along very well. However, we agree with the words of Trades Council Secretary Dave Chapple that’ the best way to save money and resources would be to introduce an efficient as well as a considerate system for processing asylum claims. It is a fact that the majority of current UK asylum claims are accepted as genuine”. Is this the main reason why the government wishes to criminalise all UK-bound refugees?!”

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Elaine di Campo
Elaine di Campo
8 months ago

Fantastic support Btc. Proud of you.

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