Mark Whitehead 14 September 2015

Government to act fast on refugees

The Government said it was fully committed to settling Syrian refugees ‘as quickly as possible’ following a meeting with local authority leaders on Friday.

However a statement said it was ‘too early to speculate on when the numbers arriving would start to rise’.

It said home secretary Theresa May would give a further update on the situation this week.

The first meeting of the Syrian resettlement taskforce followed a surge in local authorities pledging to support refugees.

David Simmons from the LGA said councils wanted reassurance that long-term plans were in place to help people.

‘This is not just about money in the short-term but that resources are going to be there so that families and children are properly supported,’ he said.

‘They need to be able to integrate into life in the UK and think about their education, their work opportunities and their housing opportunities.’

In one of the latest offers of support Edinburgh City Council said it would house 100 Syrian refugees over the next 12 months.

It said the commitment was in response to the ‘humanitarian crisis’ across Europe as refugees continue to arrive from the war-torn Middle East.

Meanwhile the Government announced plans to invest a further £10m in the next three years to support more free school places for refugee children in Lebanon.

It said the UK will fund a further 59,000 school places while providing classes and support for thousands more who are not in formal education.

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