Local homeless man, Peter Smith, is seeking a Syrian passport in the hope that he will then qualify for a decent house in Lichfield or Burntwood.
Staffordshire County Council has pledged to take in up to 50 Syrian refugee families and is consulting with Lichfield District Council on local numbers.
Mr Smith, a local celebrity “chugger”, sells The Big Issue from his patch outside Boots in the City centre. He explained:
‘I’ve been trying to get a council house for years but I’ve been discriminated against because I own a BMW convertible and a portfolio of stocks and shares.’
With Syrian families expected to arrive early next year Mr Smith believes that he has no alternative but to obtain a Syrian passport at the earliest opportunity. Pete continued:
‘The weather outside is frightful. As I’m homeless and without children that I’m aware of, I often winter abroad. This Christmas I’m planning a trip to Kos to see what I can find washed up on the beach, the Aegean can be quite choppy at this time it year especially if you’re in a packed dingy.’
Mr Smith also plans a stopover in France on the way home.
‘If I have no luck in Kos then I’ll call in on Paris, I’ve heard that French security services have scattered loads of fake Syrian passports all over the city.’
Peter’s only concern about becoming a Syrian refugee is the reaction of local residents. Rob of Burntwood commented:
‘We don’t want swarms of stinking Syrians here, self-detonating all over the place. If Peter Smith becomes a Syrian refugee then that will make him a terrorist and he will not be welcome here in Burntwood. Unless he goes to live with Cllr Sue Woodward who is keen to offer these people accommodation provided that it’s in other people’s homes.’