Local residents have slammed a proposal from Oxfordshire County Council to set up an Amazon wishlist that locals could use to buy gifts for Afghan refugees settling into the area.
The council, controlled by the Liberal Democrat-Green Alliance had floated the idea of launching the wishlist which enables the council to identify items they may need to help accommodate the Afghan newcomers into their new homes.
The council leader, Cllr Liz Leffman, said: “As we’ve said before the people of Oxfordshire have been incredibly generous in their response and many of the items they donated during August have been put to good use with the people who have arrived in our county.
“We are now at a stage where we don’t need further donations of items. However there may be occasions in future when we need very specific items to meet specific needs as families go through the very gradual process of adapting to their new surroundings away from their home country.
“We thought an Amazon wishlist would be an ideal way to get a message through to our kind-hearted residents if and when we need specific items quickly.”
Although the proposal is not believed to have been put forward for public consultation, the local news outlet Oxford Mail asked its readers what they thought of the plans, with a majority opposing the proposal and saying they would look after their own families first before gifting items to others.
Others also criticised the council’s decision to kit out foreign newcomers and request help from locals to do so, whilst British veterans remain homeless on the streets.
Below are the responses received by the local paper:
JASON ATHERTON: “No thanks need to look after my family first.”
LYNDA FELLOWS: “Absolutely not – look after our own.”
JANE WALSH: “Charity starts at home sorry.”
AMY MORRIS: “If I could afford to, most definitely I’d help.”
JULIE JOHNSON: “I assume you will do the same for our homeless, including our veterans.”
ALISON JONES: “Such a good idea. I would rather donate something that is needed than just dumping stuff I no longer need on to people.
JACKIE BROWN: “I hope there is a donation fund for our own homeless people too.”
DEBBIE JONES: “Sorry but my own come first, so no thank you.”
SUSIE TAYLOR: “Just put yourself in their position, then think.”
PHIL EVANS: “There’s enough of our own people that need help and rehousing.”
KELLY TOMBS: “We can barely afford things for our own family. Can you help me if I put a wishlist up? The answer to that would be no.”
JOAN DENTON: “Absolutely not family comes first.”
TERESA HOGAN: “I’ve got my own Amazon wishlist thanks.”
GAIL TRIVETT: “Sorry but that’s a no. I struggle to put food on the table as it is and with National Insurance going up next year it will be even harder.”
SUE PARNELL: “Why does it have be an Amazon wishlist? I’ve seen no end of people willing to donate. Why isn’t there a donation list, someone might have what’s on there! What on earth could they require from Amazon that’s specialist or am I being silly?”
STEVEN LAZARUS: “I think some of you need to go and meet these people. Your lack of empathy is gut wrenching.”
TRACEY WOODS: “No sorry. Not until we can look after our own homeless. I mean those that sailed into Dover on dinghies have been housed in hotels and still complain.”