Lancaster City Council agrees to find homes for refugees

Refugees from Syria fleeing towards Turkey earlier this month after air strikes in their own country.

Refugees from Syria fleeing towards Turkey earlier this month after air strikes in their own country.

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Homes in our district will take in refugees as part of nationwide plans to solve the humanitarian crisis.

Lancaster City Council has confirmed it will take part in a Government drive to find homes for 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK.

An average of 100 refugees a year will settle in Lancashire over the next five years, working out at two homes per year in the Lancaster district starting in April 2017.

Coun Karen Leytham, the council’s cabinet member for health and housing, said: “The world has been shocked by the continuing conflict in the Middle East and the mass displacement of people - estimated to be the largest since the Second World War - is a humanitarian crisis.

“We would like to do more but by joining the scheme in year two we will be able to build on and learn from the experiences of other local authorities that resettle refugees this year.

“It also allows us to concentrate on assisting the asylum seekers dispersal programme in Lancaster, which we already participate in.

“Crucially the Government will be providing funding for the resettlement programme.

“This is important to ensure that those we welcome to our district have the support and resources they need until they are either granted asylum or safely returned to their own country.”

The city council will work closely with other local authorities in Lancashire that are also participating in the scheme.

The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting at Morecambe Town Hall last Tuesday.