Ready to welcome Syrian refugees
Published on: 26 Aug 2016
THE first Syrian refugee families are thought be to be arriving in South Gloucestershire this month.
The council has committed to taking 84 people from the country over the next four years under a Home Office resettlement programme with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
It has already taken in some unaccompanied Syrian children under a separate scheme.
A year after it started collecting details of people who would be willing to help those coming to the UK from camps in the Middle East, the council has confirmed it is expecting its first two families, probably at the end of September.
Council leader Matthew Riddle said: “We have provided information to the Home Office to allow them to match us with families under the Syrian refugee resettlement programme and we are awaiting our first families. Under a separate scheme we are already providing support to a number of unaccompanied children.
"We have always said that it is right that we take in our share and play our part in responding to this crisis as a community and we stand ready to do so.”
So far, councils have made arrangements to help 8,146 Syrian refugees of the total 20,000 that David Cameron pledged the UK would accept.
About a third of authorities are not offering to take anyone in because the Government funding on offer to councils is not enough to cover all the costs of resettlement.
A report to the Commons Home Affairs Committe said: " "There is now a two-tier system among local authorities, with some providing support to Syrian refugees and others not doing so.