Melton Council prepares to help Syrian refugees

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Melton Council is preparing to help house and support around 50 Syrian refugees over the next five years.

The council will use private sector housing to house two families per year - up to 10 people in total - every year.

It will also be working with local partner organisations and services to ensure the required services are made available to the families that will be housed in Melton borough.

District councils in Leicestershire and Rutland County Council are working together to find suitable homes for refugees who will arrive under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

The Government has agreed to expand the scheme to take a further 20,000 Syrians over the next five years across the country.

Melton, Charnwood, Blaby, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, North West Leicestershire and Rutland councils have all agreed to take part in the relocation scheme.

The refugees will be coming from designated camps close to the Syrian border or areas around those camps. They will not be coming from Calais or anywhere else.

Some refugees will arrive in late summer. Charnwood Council is co-ordinating the securing of properties and an officer will be appointed soon.

Councillor David Wright, chairman of Melton Council’s community and social affairs committee, said: “This is a huge humanitarian crisis and we need to assist the Government to fulfil their pledge to relocate Syrians over the next five years.

“Melton Council is pleased we’re able to offer this support to the programme.”

Under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, the Government provides councils with £8,520 per person, per year. The co-ordinator being brought in at Charnwood Council will also be funded via this money.

The councils will be required to take care of everything for the refugees when they arrive, with the emphasis firmly on integration.

Charnwood Council’s cabinet member for housing Leigh Harper-Davies said: “These are people in genuine need who are fleeing awful conditions. I hope local residents will welcome them into our communities.

“The number of people we will help has been decided upon according to local population figures and we feel it is an appropriate amount.”