Councils agree to take in refugees

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North Yorkshire’s county and district councils are to work in partnership to support Syrian refugees following positive talks with the Home Office this week.

The county council along with Selby, Richmondshire, Hambleton, Craven, Scarborough, Ryedale and Harrogate district councils met Government officials at county hall yesterday to discuss initial plans to accommodate refugees from the war in Syria.

The meeting was planned some time ago to discuss the dispersal of asylum seekers. However, the developing humanitarian crisis involving Syrian refugees led to the scope of the meeting being extended to address the matter.

The councils expressed their intention to work in partnership to take in their fair share of refugees and to play their part in any humanitarian response. The Prime Minister has announced that the UK will take in 20,000 Syrian refugees and the councils have agreed with the Home Office that they would need more detail about the longer term implications for resources before they can decide on the number of refugees they can help.

“Few could fail to be moved by the pictures and stories of terrible suffering of the displaced peoples of Syria and North Yorkshire’s councils agree that we must do everything we can to play our part in giving support,” said County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s leader.

“But to give proper support we need the resources to do it and so once we have a full understanding of available resources, both for now and in the longer term North Yorkshire’s councils will work together with the Home Office to agree on numbers.”