We will welcome the first Syrian refugees before Christmas as part of the Government’s scheme to resettle 20,000 people within the UK.
Under the Trailblazer scheme – along with six authorities across Yorkshire and Humber – we will take two families in the next two months, with funding from government.
Cllr Graham Turner told councillors at a Full Council meeting that they would also take more refugees over the next two years.
How is this being funded?
Funding for two years will come from government through the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. This will cover housing, health and school costs, and there is some scope for reclaiming staffing costs.
What do we know about the refugees?
Cllr Turner said:
“We are not dealing in quotas. Kirklees has made an offer based on what we feel able to fully support. We will know how many people are coming around four to six weeks before they arrive, but that may be longer if there are refugees with complex needs.
“Under the scheme, there is priority for survivors of torture or violence, women and children at risk, and those needing medical care. Refugees are still subject to immigration and visa rules, and those with criminal pasts are excluded.”
“Our priority is to move the refugees into safe, secure and supported housing. We have been working on this for some time to make sure we identify appropriate homes, and in the right location.
“I am sure they will need intensive support from range of services. They may have suffered trauma, survived torture and violence. Once here, there will be a number of assessments, for example health and social care, education and school places, access to finance and initial benefits, mental health support and support to learn English where needed.”
The resettlement programme in West Yorkshire is being co-ordinated by Migration Yorkshire, a regional partnership which works with national and local government, statutory, voluntary, community and private sector organisations to manage migration to the region.
Cllr Turner also paid tribute to the existing voluntary and community groups in our area that support refugees and asylum seekers every week. The continued support of these groups will be vital as refugees are resettled locally.
“I must thank all voluntary sector groups involved. We are fortunate to have the voluntary and community sector we do in Kirklees. The Kirklees multi-agency group has been working closely together for some time – and while they are working to capacity they still want to do more. We are signposting people with offers of support to that network.”
What can you do to help?
For more info on how you can help and support read our article: