Syrian refugee request being considered in Fenland

Syrian refugees could be rehomed in Ely if the Government both requests it and offers funding

Syrian refugees could be rehomed in Ely if the Government both requests it and offers funding - Credit: Archant

Fenland is considering a request to take in Syrian refugees as part of a plea put out to councils across the country.

A Syrian refugee holds his young son in a refugee camp in northern Iraq. Refugees are to be rehomed

A Syrian refugee holds his young son in a refugee camp in northern Iraq. Refugees are to be rehomed in England as aprt of the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme - Credit: Archant

A total of 100 people will be coming to Peterborough after the city council agreed to house five families a year for the next five years.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s cabinet member responsible for communities, said: “Along with other local authorities in the East of England, we have been asked if we can help resettle a number of Syrian refugees who will be arriving in September.

“We are currently considering that request and assessing all the practical issues involved.

“No decision has yet been made.”


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The Government announced last year that the UK will accept 20,000 refugees between now and 2020 as part of the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme.

It’s expected that the first families will arrive in Peterborough this autumn.

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Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “The Government has confirmed that we will receive appropriate levels of funding for these families.

“That means that we can be sure that we’re offering them the help that they need and over the next few months we will be making appropriate arrangements to prepare for their arrival.

“This city has a long and proud history ​of welcoming those that need our help and we will be working with groups from across our community that have already offered their assistance.”

Wendi-Ogle Welbourn, corporate director for people and communities at Peterborough City Council said: “Over the next few months we will be making detailed arrangements to help resettle these Syrian families that will be coming from refugee camps.

“We will be supported by members and organisations from the city’s Diversity Forum - so it will be a real community effort.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We’re slightly different from Peterborough in that we don’t provide housing – and housing is the immediate need of any refugees arriving in this country.

“So while the County Council isn’t taking in any refugees as such, we are fully supporting the districts in any way we can.”

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