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27 January 2016

Council clarifies position on refugees

Refugees

Contrary to recent reports in some national media outlets Cumbria County Council has not been granted an exemption from the requirement to accept refugees and stands by its long held position that refugees will be welcome in Cumbria.

The facts are:

The council had made an offer to receive 15 families before Christmas 2015 and they were due to arrive on 8 December.  Notification was received from the Home Office on 24 November that Cumbria was no longer required to take these refugees as the clearance process from the camp had not been concluded and refugees were then expected to arrive in the New Year.

Now, as a result of the flooding, previously available accommodation has been taken by local people affected by flooding and we expect this to be the case for at least six months.

The council will review the situation in Cumbria in March and make an assessment of the county’s capability to take refugees later in the year, possibly June or July.

Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said:

“When accommodation becomes available again later in the year, we will be able to make our offer again to support the refugee families from the dreadful crisis in Syria. Obtaining accommodation will always be a challenge, as will be the provision of health care, school places, translation services and community support and integration. We have received many generous offers from members of the community and we thank them for that.”

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Contrary to recent reports in some national media outlets Cumbria County Council has not been granted an exemption from the requirement to accept refugees and stands by its long held position that refugees will be welcome in Cumbria.