Lincolnshire will be preparing to take up to 200 refugees in the next five years as part of the Government’s proposals to react to the current crisis.
The Government has pledged to accept 20,000 refugees from camps on the border with war torn Syria, rather than those who have already travelled into Europe and a statement on the council’s involvement as part of a regional plan was read out at this morning’s council executive board meeting (Friday).
The information had come from the Home Office after a meeting of the East Midlands strategic management board.
Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Following David Cameron’s announcement to accept 20,000 refugees from Syria into the UK, it is now expected that Lincolnshire will take up to 200 refugees over the next five years.
“We will work together with district councils, health services and voluntary organisations in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands region to play our role in this humanitarian mission, but only if full funding will be forthcoming.
“We are continually expected to find significant savings, and over the next five years, we have to reduce our budget by £120 million. This puts us in a difficult position. The cost of providing the necessary support services to refugees is very significant – a cost which we cannot meet without extra funding from government.”
It is understood funding will come from central Government for the first 12 months, but then the cost would have to be met by the local authority.
Coun Hill said: ““We know that a number of local of people and organisations are keen to play their part, and we have started to coordinate these offers. If you want to volunteer or help, please visit our website (www.lincolnshire.gov.uk) to find out more details.
“The British Red Cross, one of our volunteer organisations, has started an appeal to help Syrian refugees when they arrive in the UK, so if you would like to donate clothing, money or vouchers, please take these along to your high street shop. They are looking for clothing, including kids clothes, but not furniture or electrical goods.”