Chesterfield asked to house six Syrian refugee families

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Six Syrian refugee families could be coming to live in Chesterfield under government plans.

If the borough council’s cabinet decides to support the proposals, the families would come to town for up to five years as part of the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

The scheme prioritises help for survivors of torture and violence, and women and children at risk or in need of medical care.

Councillors will be told that the government scheme funds the cost of housing the refugees during their stay and providing any services they require.

Six homes have been identified that may be suitable to house refugees, although it is likely only three or four would be needed. The homes chosen should not impact on council house waiting lists as properties that are more difficult to let will be used.

Councillor Chris Ludlow, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Nobody can fail to be moved by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in worn torn Syria.

“The families being resettled through the scheme are currently in Syria within refugee camps and are at risk of violence or torture, or are particularly vulnerable.

“The government has asked councils across Derbyshire to take a small share of the refugees they have agreed to have nationally and councillors will be asked to consider housing some of those families in Chesterfield.

“The families, which typically consist of two to eight people, would be housed in difficult to let properties.”

The council’s cabinet is being recommended to approve the plans when they meet on May 17.

The meeting will be told that the government will security screen all potential refugees before accepting them in to the UK.

The Derbyshire response to the scheme will be coordinated by Derbyshire County Council, in conjunction with several district and borough councils in the county.

Various church and voluntary groups have already pledged support for any refugees placed in Derbyshire and the councils will work with them to ensure the local response to the humanitarian crisis is co-ordinated.

A frequently asked questions page has been created on Chesterfield Borough Council’s website at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/refugees to answer questions that residents may have.