Search

Norfolk agrees to take in 100 more refugees from Syria

PUBLISHED: 13:49 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 16 July 2018

A Syrian refugee holds her daughter while standing outside her tent at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan, Pic: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

A Syrian refugee holds her daughter while standing outside her tent at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan, Pic: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

Councillors have agreed that one hundred more Syrian refugees could be welcomed to a new life in Norfolk over the next two years - so long as district councils are content with the move.

Norfolk County Council voted in July 2016 to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian refugees through the government’s resettlement scheme, which set a target to offer sanctuary to 20,000 people fleeing civil war over five years.

The vote was taken following a wrangle over the cost of providing support to the refugees, with Westminster only willing to pay £1m towards resettlement costs - leaving a £400,000 shortfall.

However, district councils plugged part of the gap by agreeing to make a contribution towards the costs of hosing the refugees in Norwich and Broadland.

Fifty-two Syrian refugees, from 12 different families, have been housed in the Greater Norwich area, not in council homes, but in private accommodation sourced through the councils’ private sector leasing schemes.

And, at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s policy and resources committee today, county councillors agreed to continue with the Home Office funded scheme, with a further one hundred Syrian refugees to be settled in Greater Norwich over the next two years.

James Bullion, director of adult social care at Norfolk County Council, said the Home Office funding meant resettling the refugees would be cost neutral to County Hall, although discussions needed to be had with district councils.

The first 12 months of a refugee’s resettlement costs are fully funded by central government.

The refugees would be rehoused in Norwich and Broadland and Mr Bullion praised people for the way the refugees who have arrived so far have been welcomed.

And Martin Wilby, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “I am pleased with the way the scheme has worked so far.”
The committee agreed to support the resettlement of 50 more Syrian refugees for each of the next two years, pending discussions with district councils.

Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, about 4.3m Syrians have fled abroad.

The conflict began when demonstrations calling for the overthrow of president Bashar al-Assad were violently oppressed by government forces.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press