Cornwall Council’s Leader updates Councillors re plans for Refugees

Posted on: 5th December 2015

Cornwall Council’s Leader updates Councillors re plans for Refugees by a letter, set out in full below:

Dear colleague

I am keen to keep everyone up to date with progress on the refugee crisis as it affects Cornwall. For your information,  I made the following statement to Full Council last week:

“I have tried to keep members up to date on the discussions we are having with Government officials and will continue to do so. My personal approach and I am sure the Council’s, is that we must welcome and show every possible humanitarian succour to those in need, but temper that with the reality of an understanding that we have responsibilities to those that come here. So far we have not had any specific approach to welcome any refugees but are prepared should and if we are.

 Those preparations include the establishment of a Refugee Placement Group – which includes representatives from all the relevant Council services, plus the Clinical Commissioning Group, Job Centre Plus, Police and voluntary sector organisations, including faith groups.

 The Group has been mapping availability of school places, health services, access to religious and language support, availability of benefits advice, identifying appropriate private sector housing, as well as actively working with other SW councils to request the Government to clarify its allocation and funding policies.

 I want to reassure Members that Cornwall, led by the Council, is ready, willing and able to play our part in the resettlement of Syrian refugees if called upon by the Government.”

Further to this statement, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Syrian Refugees made reference to Cornwall in the International Development Select Committee. He said “…decent local authorities, from Cornwall to the tip of Scotland, that want to take refugees, they are decent communities with decent people that would be very welcoming to refugees…”.

The officer leading the team working on the Refugee issue also informed me that the Parliamentary Under Secretary also stated that by March (2016) they hoped to have refined the resettlement process to identify the skills of refugees and matching them with the skills needs of areas. This is the suggestion we put to the Home Office back in October.

Oll an gwella


John Pollard

Leader of the Council