William Eichler 13 January 2017

Council responsibilities towards Syrian refugees ‘too vague’ warn MPs

A lack of clarity on what local authorities should provide to Syrian refugees poses a threat to the long-term success of the Government’s resettlement programme, committee says.

A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report has warned that despite encouraging progress it will be a ‘significant challenge’ to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by 2020.

It found there was a lack of clarity around responsibilities and entitlements under the programme. In particular, some councils were confused about what they were expected to provide to refugees and how this should be funded.

The question of specialist support for victims of torture and violence is one area where there is confusion, PAC reported.

More than half of the refugees resettled under the programme by the end of June last year had suffered torture or violence, and it is unclear whether survivors are getting the support they need.

The committee recommended the Home Office ‘more clearly specify what local authorities are expected to provide to refugees to address any current disparities or confusion’.

PAC also reported central Government plans for evaluating the programme were ‘still too vague’ and urged Whitehall to set out an effective framework for measuring its success against indicators such as progress with English and employment.

‘Syrians now make up the largest refugee population in the world and the UK is playing its part in helping people who are truly desperate,’ said PAC chair Meg Hillier.

‘While the programme team was right to take a fresh look at the programme last year, more work is needed to make it sustainable in the longer term.

‘This is a voluntary programme, but one with significant ambition, and it is vital councils' initial pledges of help translate into firm offers of accommodation, support and services for refugees.’

Photo: Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock, Inc.

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Fair Trading Officer

Northumberland County Council
£14,587 - £16,399
Northumberland County Council provides a large and diverse range of services across one of the largest counties in England. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Communications Support Assistant

Northumberland County Council
Our people are the heart of Northumberland, which is why we place such importance on ensuring staff are engaged, informed and feel valued. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Support Worker - Support at Home Service (South Cumbria)

Cumbria County Council
£25,927 - £26,446
The Support at Home Service provides both domiciliary and reablement services, as part of the wider Provider Services Team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Head of Service - Children in Care

Sandwell Children's Trust
£65,831 - £75,240
You will have strategic and overall responsibility for ensuring that assessments and plans for children in care and care leavers. Sandwell, West Midlands (Hybrid Working)
Recuriter: Sandwell Children's Trust

Performance Assistant -Focus Family Team

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 - £29,174
We are looking for an experienced, enthusiastic, and driven Performance Assistant within our Focus Family Team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.