September 25th, 2016

Council u-turns on haven for refugees

Council u-turns on haven for refugees Council u-turns on haven for refugees

REDDITCH borough council has joined with the rest of Worcestershire to submit a joint bid to take part in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme.

However the authority is making it plain that central government needs to come up with the money to pay for any relocation programme.

The move follows a U-turn by the county council after it had previously rejected the scheme earlier this year on the grounds that it didn’t have the cash.

However last week, after a passionate speech at county hall by Redditch Arrow Valley East representative councillor Joe Baker, they did an about turn.

The decision though will depend on the Government agreeing to fund the scheme for the full five years and the agreement of other public organisations locally.

Redditch Borough Council leader Bill Hartnett said: “We have previously stated that we are committed to help and offer support where we can and this still stands.

“By joining forces with our neighbouring authorities, while we wait to hear what funding we can expect, we are making sure we are in a strong position to offer aid to these vulnerable people.

“But practically we need the right resources to be available locally in order to successfully achieve that.”

County Coun Simon Geraghty, who chaired the meeting of the Worcestershire Leaders’ Board, said: “Providing a safe haven for some of the most vulnerable people caught up in the Syrian conflict will require a carefully co-ordinated package of support provided by a number of different organisations.

“That’s why we need the right resources from government over the next five years to successfully help them to integrate fully into the community.”