Arising from a *report of the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services, the Homes Policy Development Group had made the following recommendations:
a) The proposal made by a community sponsorship group with regard to the resettlement of an additional refugee household in the district under the existing Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme be approved.
b) The Council should take part in the new United Kingdom Refugee Scheme (UKRS).
c) A maximum of 5 additional families are supported through either the existing or the new scheme. Should the existing Syrian scheme reopen and be available locally then under existing commitments 2 of these additional 5 families should be supported through that scheme, leaving a balance of 3 families to be supported under the new UK scheme. If none or just 1 family can be supported under the Syrian scheme then the balance of placements should be rolled over into the new scheme.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Property Services outlined the contents of the report stating that this was a continuation of a scheme agreed in 2017 and that he was pleased to support the recommendation of the Policy Development Group. Due to the current pandemic, such schemes were on pause and no date had been received by the Government for the scheme to resume, however conversations continued to take place with Devon County Council.
Consideration was given to:
· The success of the scheme
· The commitment of other authorities
· How well the families had settled into the community
· The need to consider where families were housed so that accessible facilities were convenient to them
RESOLVED that the recommendation of the Policy Development Group be approved.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
Reason for decision - The Council is required to agree the proposal relating to community sponsorship before it can go forward, in line with Home Office rules. However, once agreed, the community group will take the lead on this. The Council will be required to confirm that any property chosen complies with relevant health and safety legislation and will be invited to participate in post- arrival visits but there is no requirement to join these visits as DCC can take the lead and report back, as appropriate.
Other local authorities in Devon have pledged to support the UKRS and DCC are keen to promote Devon as a county welcoming to refugees.
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.