To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Reverend Helen Drever referring to Item 5 on the agenda (Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme) spoke on behalf of Anthea Duquemin who thanked the officers who had prepared the useful discussion document outlining various approaches that different district councils have used to operate the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. These seem to offer a way forward by which Council officers can avoid undertaking too much additional work or costs while Mid Devon can still offer a safe home to a small number of displaced Syrian families in the way that many of us in Mid Devon feel very motivated to support .
As the person who has bought a house in Crediton for this purpose, I would like to say that I very much hope that we can have a decision today that Mid Devon will definitely agree to go ahead with the original proposal that the next place to settle a Syrian family would be Crediton, and that the house that I have bought, which was selected specifically according to the criteria identified by council officers, and which has already been approved by Housing officers for the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, can be put into use as soon as possible.
At present the house is empty, although it seems a terrible waste, I have avoided using it for any other purpose as I am aware that the Council cannot start looking for a family through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme unless or until the house is actually vacant. I would therefore like to ask if I can (a) be given confirmation that my house will be used for the scheme and (b) ask for a specific date from when my house will be considered to be secured for the scheme.
Finally having read the discussion paper prepared for today’s meeting, I would like to assure you in relation to point 3.4 about the risk to private landlords not being able to support the refugee families living in their homes, that I cannot imagine any way in which this would happen. I am fully committed to providing a house for this purpose and if for any reason I wasn’t able to provide full support myself, I would find some other way of achieving this, quite separate from any support from the council.
Mr Conyngham again referring to item 5 on the agenda stated that he wanted to endorse the words of the previous speaker and that he was impressed with the officers report, he had worked with others for 4 years to find a house and was overjoyed when the house in Crediton came forward, he felt that it would be shocking if the project did not go ahead, the house was empty and in good order, he asked that the PDG do more than note the report but provide a clear commitment that Mid Devon would take a 3rd Syrian family and would start the necessary process.
The Chairman indicated that the answers to the questions would be provided when the item was debated.