Council to discuss accepting refugees in Scarborough as part of government resettlement scheme

Scarborough Council’s cabinet is set to discuss whether the borough should accept a minimum of 35 refugees as part of a government-led resettlement scheme.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:40 pm
File photo. Picture by Richard Ponter

North Yorkshire County Council and the leaders of the borough’s six district councils, including Scarborough, gave in principle support to the scheme last month subject to the project being funded from Westminster.

In 2016, Scarborough accepted 36 Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in their own country as part of a county-wide resettlement program of approximately 200 people.

The new scheme, the Global Resettlement Scheme, will run from 2021 to 2024 and once again see around 200 people housed in North Yorkshire.

A report prepared for the cabinet when it meets on Tuesday next week (12th) by the council’s housing manager Andrew Rowe states that the funding for the scheme still needs to be secured.

It adds: “The government has not been able to confirm the funding for arrivals after 2020/21 due to needing to await the outcome of the comprehensive spending review.

“The government has however declared its intention to run the new programme in the long term.”

While the previous refugees were fleeing conflict in Syria this time the geographical focus, according to Mr Rowe’s report, will be “broadened beyond the Middle East and the North Africa region”.

Mr Rowe adds: “Support to assist with the rehousing of refugees has been confirmed by Beyond Housing and all Registered Providers are being invited to participate and support the scheme.

“Given levels of demand for all forms of housing within the borough it is again recommended that a mix of both social rented and private rented properties are considered as part of the scheme.”

The 35 individuals previously settled in the borough, comprised of seven families, have all remained in the area, councillors have been told, although one family had to be moved to a new home after being the victim of a hate crime.

The cabinet will be asked to approve the council’s participation in the resettlement scheme, subject to funding being secured, when it meets next week.