Fringe Box



Refugees – Council Making Preparations While Waiting To Hear More of Government Plans

Published on: 9 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 12 Oct, 2015
Syrian refugees will be brought to the UK from camps in countries that neighbour Syria.

Syrian refugees will be brought to the UK from camps in countries that neighbour Syria.

A “refugee task group” at Guildford Borough Council (GBC) is looking at how the council can work with local people, organisations and faith communities to respond to the refugee crisis.

Lead councillor for community health and sport, Cllr Iseult Roche (Con, Worplesdon), said: “We want our borough to be a supportive and thriving place for all.

“Ensuring that any refugees who come to our area are assisted in the best way is not a “quick fix” and we want to properly assess and manage their long-term needs.”

The council is waiting to hear more details about the Government’s plans, but is meanwhile pushing ahead with some of its own initiatives which, it says, must be holistic and focus on the overall well-being of the most vulnerable refugees, identified by the United Nations for protection and brought to the UK.

Cllr Iseult Roche

Cllr Iseult Roche

Cllr Roche continued: “Our initial plans include creating a register of private landlords who might have appropriate and suitable homes they wish to offer.

“Even though initial requests for refugee housing may be few, we already have over 3,000 households needing affordable homes across the borough. Therefore, it’s important that we work very carefully to manage this alongside our current waiting lists and housing options for local people.

“Refugee families, adults and children who come to our area will require intensive ongoing support, with access to skills development, education and health as well as places to live.

“We are also looking to coordinate a local fund raising drive to support national and other charities, so that people can donate to help meet their immediate needs and longer-term integration.

“Continued close working with Guildford Diocese and the wider faith communities helps us see how we could assist with their existing and new initiatives.

“Coming together nationally, regionally and locally needs thorough planning to ensure long-term harmony and success for both the refugees and communities where they may settle. We remain committed to supporting the overall response to help the very vulnerable people coming to our country.”

A council spokesperson said: “As well as working with our Surrey partners, our task group will also work to provide practical ways for Guildford people who might want to give more local support.”

For national advice readers should visit:–2

red-cross-logo copyThe Red Cross’s dedicated phone line on 0800 107 8727 for more ways to help.

Further details and updates on GBC’s response to the refugee crisis can be found on its website, Facebook and Twitter.

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