A PLEA has been made for the new Dorset Council to commit itself to taking a minimum of three refugee children a year, for the next ten years.

Charity Safe Passage made the plea to a meeting of the new council’s shadow executive in Dorchester.

Organiser of the Dorset group, Bernard Sullivan, said the campaign was launched 80 years after the UK took in 10,000 refugee children under the Kindertransport scheme where families from across Europe fled the Nazis.

He said the scheme should be funded by the Government and had been backed by Dorset County Council and Poole Borough and, he expected, soon would be by Bournemouth Borough Council.

“All we are asking is that it be placed high on the agenda of the new council, some 850 places have been pledged so far,” said Mr Sullivan.

Shadow executive chairman Cllr Rebecca Knox said the new council’s priority would be a smooth transition from the existing system and to be ‘safe and legal’ on April 1st.

“As a shadow council we can’t make a binding commitment, but I am sure it will be brought forward at the earliest possible opportunity after the May elections,” she said.