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Clarification on response to refugee crisis

08 October 2015

Cllr Bronwen Brooks, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety has this week clarified what action the Council has planned in response to the growing refugee crisis.

 

Few people could not have been touched by the harrowing images broadcast on our television screens and printed in the press of families fleeing their war-torn home countries in search of safety and a new beginning in Europe.


The needs of people displaced by the crisis in the Middle East are immediate and the nature of the crisis is such that public organisations in the UK have a responsibility to take action to support them.


This is why the Vale of Glamorgan Council moved swiftly to offer its support to those who seek refuge in the UK. As part of a collaborative regional approach the Council will participate in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme and the Home Office scheme associated with the resettlement of Afghan individuals and families.


To ensure that the authority is fully able to respond to the crisis £100,000 has been set-aside over a two year period to support asylum seekers and refugees.


Following this decision a small number people have raised concerns that our response will put further pressure on an already stretched social housing sector in the Vale. It has also been suggested that Vale residents who are currently on the Council’s housing waiting list may have to wait even longer if refugees are also to be housed.  


Speaking at a meeting of one of the Economy and Environment scrutiny committee, Cllr Brooks clarified the situation, saying: "I would like to make clear how the Vale Council intends to address this issue and in doing so dispel any misunderstanding.

 

"During the discussions with our local partners our focus has been on planning how we could work with the private sector landlords and community organisations to house refugees. It is not our intention to house any new entrants to the UK in either Council owned houses or those owned by housing associations.


"The Vale of Glamorgan Council is fully confident that we can work positively to help those who are in the most desperate need whilst not disadvantaging those in the Vale currently waiting for a home to become available."