AS France prepares to dismantle the refugee camp at Calais, Southend politicians have called for the Government to increase efforts to help unaccompanied children enter the UK.

Southend West MP Sir David Amess joined a number of MPs who signed an open letter to Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, calling for the children to be given support.

The letter highlights the death of a 14-year-old boy died in Calais when he fell off a truck while trying to reach the UK.

The letter said: "Children are living alone in tents donated by the generous British people, living each day in fear of violence, exposed to criminals and, as we have seen, at risk of losing their lives. With the French authorities planning to dismantle the camp, life is only likely to get harder for these vulnerable children.?

Southend Councillors have also been asked to consider a motion put forward by the labour group asking for the council to write to the Government urging it to take more children.

The motion put forward by Cheryl Nevin and seconded by Julian Ware-Lane, said: "Britain should be following Germany's lead of accepting more than one million refugees last year and distributing them across hundreds of cities and villages in the


"This government’s claims to be socially just can only be viewed as a failure of leadership while these minors suffer squalor, desperation and destitution."

Mr Ware-Lane said: "There are up to 400 children who have been promised places over here. All we are pressing for is for the Government to take action. There are now some coming across but we want more action.

"We are all starting to put jumpers on and to put on central heating but they don't have that luxury."

As some of the young people begin to journey to the UK, the Government has faced criticism it is not doing enough to ensure they are in fact children, as some appear to be adult males.

Mr Ware-Lane added: "Some of them may looker older than their years. A 16-year-old can be quite large but they are still vulnerable in the eyes of the law.

"Rather than arguing about how old they are we should take the view that these people are in desperate need of help."