A group of EU nationals living in Kenilworth have claimed the town council is ‘out of touch’ with their concerns after it threw out a motion to reassure them how welcome they are in the town.
At a town council meeting on Thursday September 17, Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, St John’s) put forward the motion, claiming it would be a ‘courageous’ thing for the council to do after many EU national across the country have reported they feel unwelcome following the Brexit referendum result in June 2016.
But the council instead voted on an amended version of the motion which recognised that all citizens were welcome in the town, rather than just EU nationals.
Cllr Michael Coker (Con, Abbey) said: “I don’t think this goes far enough. Everybody from abroad who lives here, works here an is contributing to the community is welcome as far as I’m concerned.”
Duncan Hodgkins of The 3 Million Warwickshire - a group representing non-British EU nationals in Kenilworth and the rest of Warwickshire, said the council missed the point of the motion.
He said: “The watered down amended motion recognising ‘all nationals’ failed to understand the particular concerns relevant only to EU nationals and the very reason the motion was presented.
“EU nationals are in the unique position of losing rights they previously enjoyed. No other overseas citizens have suffered such a dramatic loss of rights.
“Kenilworth Town Council missed a wonderful opportunity to show not only its support to its EU nationals, but that it understood the unique pressures and insecurity they are suffering at this time.”