Peterborough to resettle 100 Syrian refugees after agreement is struck with the government

Peterborough will resettle 100 Syrian refugees over the next five years after an agreement was struck between the city council and the government.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 8:05 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 9:16 pm
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Five families will resettle in the city every year until 2020, with family groups typically to be two adults and two children.

It is expected that the first families will arrive this autumn as part of the government’s Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme.

The news comes seven months after a long and heated argument between councillors over the ruling Conservatives’ decision not to support the resettlement scheme.

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Back then, Peterborough City Council leader Councillor John Holdich defended the council’s decision by saying there were already pressures on services and that he needed more information from the government.

Speaking after the resettlement programme was agreed, he said: “I have been speaking with government and we have now come to an agreement on resettling a number of refugees in Peterborough.

“The government has confirmed that we will receive appropriate levels of funding for these families. That means that we can be sure that we’re offering them the help that they need and over the next few months we will be making appropriate arrangements to prepare for their arrival.

“This city has a long and proud history ​of welcoming those that need our help and we will be working with groups from across our community that have already offered their assistance.”

The government has agreed to cover all the health, social and educational costs for all individual refugees.

This is in addition to them being able to access all benefits such as housing.

Refugees will also be able to work if they have the skills needed to do so.

Funding will come from the International Development Fund, so instead of this going to other countries it is being used to support refugees in the UK.

Wendi-Ogle Welbourn, corporate director for people and communities at the council, said: “Over the next few months we will be making detailed arrangements to help resettle these Syrian families that will be coming from refugee camps.

“We will be supported by members and organisations from the city’s Diversity Forum - so it will be a real community effort.”