COUNCIL leaders across Worcestershire have agreed to relocate more Syrian refugees to the county.
They agreed to host up to 50 Syrian refugees in Worcestershire and the aim is to resettle them in different areas of the county.
So far 50 refugees were resettled across Redditch, Wyre Forest and Worcester in 2016/17.
This new commitment will bring the total resettled under the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme in Worcestershire up to 100.
It follows a decision by the leaders of Worcestershire County, Bromsgrove District, Malvern Hills District, Redditch Borough, Worcester City, Wychavon District and Wyre Forest District Councils at a meeting on February 1.
In a joint statement the Leaders said: “Families identified under the government’s scheme are some of the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict. This includes women and children at risk and survivors of torture and violence and we are proud to continue to play our part in housing those families that have been affected by the Syrian conflict.
“Government funding has enabled us to ensure we have the right infrastructure to support arriving refugees. We are also grateful to the support provided by volunteer groups across the county who are helping families become independent and be happy in their new lives in Worcestershire.”
The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme was expanded by Government in 2015 and pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees in in the UK by 2020. Families will continue to be housed within the private rented sector to minimise the impact on social housing supply and other vulnerable groups, with the first of the new arrivals not expected until the autumn.
Families accepted under the scheme are granted humanitarian protection giving them leave to remain for five years with full access to employment and public funds and rights to family reunion comparable to refugees.
At the end of the five years, if they have not been able to return to Syria, they may be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK.