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bench Is Political Correctness Holding Middlesbrough Back?
October 21, 2014

We’re all human beings – and the more fortunate of us have a duty to help the less fortunate.

So I’m very proud of what Britain does for refugees: offering safety to families and individuals who’re trying to escape vicious regimes and wicked cultures.

And I’m very pleased that Middlesbrough itself plays a leading role – offering safety to those who’re persecuted abroad and helping them to create a new and positive future.

Hosting and helping refugees does come with costs. That’s why our government issues strong guidelines on the maximum numbers of refugees per town.

So, I was massively shocked to learn that Middlesbrough, arguably England’s poorest big town, is the only place in Britain to have breached the government’s guidelines on refugee numbers.

Middlesbrough has the highest proportion of asylum-seekers in England, with many of the near-1,000 being housed in central areas like Gresham.

When richer towns and cities are doing relatively little, why is Middlesbrough doing far more than the set maximum guidelines?

Which of our politicians knew about this breach of guidelines?

Why haven’t the people of Middlesbrough been made aware of this issue and had a say in the matter?

Local politicians aren’t making meaningful statements on this serious issue. I can’t help but think that political correctness is holding them back – that they’re scared of discussing the issue and angering their political party.

Is our politicians’ relative silence on this important issue yet another example of putting party loyalty before what’s best for Middlesbrough? I think so.

Do you think that our politicians should be talking openly about this instead of keeping quiet?

Do you think that our politicians should be demanding richer towns do their fair amount of helping refugees?

Andy Preston

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"I believe in Middlesbrough. Together we can make amazing things happen."
- Andy Preston charity leader, businessman, Middlesbrough mayoral candidate
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Published by Andy Preston, Boho 4 Gibson House, Cleveland Street, Middlesbrough, TS2 1AE