Both North Devon Council and Torridge District Council leaders say they are willing to help refugees fleeing Syria.

North Devon and Torridge District councils have said they are both willing to offer help to refugees fleeing Syria.

TDC leader Councillor Jane Whittaker said that Torridge is ‘willing and able’ to assist, while NDC leader Councillor Des Brailey said North Devon had submitted its details to a regional partnership set up to help refugees.

This comes as the Government looks to district and county councils to help as part of the existing Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, to provide assistance to 20,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in camps over the next five years.

Cllr Whittaker said: “Stories in the national press have led to speculation that perhaps councils are not doing everything they can to help refugees in the current crisis.

“However, the simple truth of the matter is that the council has not yet been approached to provide any assistance or found a channel through which it could offer practical help.

“From TDC’s perspective, we remain willing and available to assist, in whatever way we can, should we be called on or an opportunity to do so presents itself.”

Councillor Des Brailey, leader of NDC, said the council was ‘hugely saddened’ by the ‘suffering of the Syrian people’.

He said: “We have submitted our contact details to the regional partnership, which has been set up, who will provide information to us on how the scheme for resettling refugees will run and be funded.

“Some people have already kindly offered to help. We will collate these details so that we will be prepared to act quickly when the Government gives us more information.

“Anyone wishing to donate in cash or kind, can contact local or national charities, which are already supporting refugees.”