Syrian refugees Derbyshire resettlement talks to take place

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Further discussions are set to take place regarding housing up to 50 Syrian refugees across Derbyshire.

A Derbyshire County Council cabinet meeting will take place at County Hall in Matlock on Tuesday (July 26).

The cabinet are expected to approve proposals to be a lead partner in the government’s Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and approve the offer that Derbyshire will be making to the government of taking up to 50 refugees in two intakes of 25, starting in November.

The refugees are likely to arrive in family groups of four or five people.

Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for health and communities, Councillor Dave Allen, said: “The government has asked us to support its resettlement scheme and in response we’re proposing to establish a partnership group which could welcome a small number of refugee families to Derbyshire.

“This process will take careful and detailed planning which is why we’re proposing to set up a resettlement group taking a carefully planned countywide partnership approach.”

The government has asked local authorities across the country to help house 20,000 Syrians over the next five years.

The county council joined up with district and borough councils, health colleagues, police, voluntary and community groups and other agencies to form a partnership group in response to the government plans announced last September.

Currently, five Derbyshire district and borough councils have agreed to rehome refugee families.

Work is being carried out to map the locations of potential housing against the availability of resources such as GP and school places.

Councillor Allen added: “Many other UK councils have already pledged their support and like them, we’re keen to do what we can to help. We believe supporting refugees who face death and suffering on an unimaginable scale every day is the right thing to do.”

The majority of VPRS for Derbyshire costs will be paid directly by the government to the county council as the education authority and to health providers.

As part of managing VPRS the scheme, the county council are currently recruiting a temporary resettlement coordinator and project support officer to manage the scheme. The decision to recruit the officers was approved at a cabinet meeting in May.

More at: www.derbyshire.gov.uk