Plymouth is the only place in Devon to take in Syrian refugees following the migrant crisis
North Devon and Torridge are among numerous councils yet to accept Syrian refugees under the Government’s scheme.
According to the latest Government figures, nationally some 250 local authorities have zero refugees, while in Devon only 14 have been taken in by Plymouth. Cornwall has taken eight.
North Devon Council (NDC) has not yet decided if it will take part in the scheme, though leader Des Brailey said this was because he had asked for clarification on funding from the Government.
The Government will pay for the refugee for the first 12 months of their stay, but has only allocated £129million nationally for the next four years.
This divided by the target of 20,000 refugees by 2020 would amount to just over £1,600 per person per year, with councils presumably expected to pick up the shortfall.
Torridge leader Jane Whittaker said councillors had agreed and voted to participate in the resettlement scheme ‘if and when suitable properties can be identified’.
“While this is being progressed we have not put a figure on the number of refugees to accept, as the priority is to find suitable accommodation in the first instance,” she said.
“Devon County Council will be co-ordinating the overall resettlement programme but from TDC’s perspective, we remain willing and available to assist, in whatever way we can.”
At its latest meeting, South Molton Town Council originally agreed to support NDC in the scheme, unaware the district had yet to sign up.
Councillors will now reconsider the issue when NDC makes a decision.
Across the UK, 1,602 Syrian refugees had been accepted by the scheme as of March this year.
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