Council committed to helping 60 Syrian refugees

Refugees in Syria
Refugees in Syria
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St Helens Council has said it is still committed to helping refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria.

The local authority has confirmed it will welcome 60 refugees to St Helens by 2020 under the UK’s resettlement programme.

The announcement comes after the Government agreed to make money available to ensure cash-strapped councils would not be out of pocket housing people escaping from the brutal conflict.

No dates have been fixed for when the first refugees will arrive as the council says it is still making arrangements for them.

A town hall spokesman said: “The local authorities across the Liverpool City Region have all agreed to a request from the Home Office to consider supporting the Government’s commitment to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over a five-year period.

“St Helens Council is committed to offering support and has agreed to welcome 60 refugees by 2020.

“This offer was made on the condition that additional funding was made available and that there would be no financial impact on the provision of council services for existing residents.

“The Government has now set a package of financial support for councils which would satisfy this condition.

“As yet there is no definite date as to when we will start to receive Syrian refugees as we need to work to develop and put in place the necessary arrangements to support placements in St Helens.”

The council was approached earlier this year by the Society of Jesus who offered Loyola (Rainhill) Hall as somewhere which could provide accommodation for people in desperate plight following Syria’s collapse into warfare.

The society was put in touch with Serco, which is appointed by the Home Office to find houses for asylum seekers across the north of England.