COUNCILLORS are set to decide whether Solihull will do its bit to help the global refugee crisis.
At the Cabinet meeting tonight (December 10) members will decide whether to sign up to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons
Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) and take some of the world’s most vulnerable people into the borough.
The nationwide Scheme accepts refugees based on ‘need rather than being designed to meet a quota’ – prioritising help for survivors of torture and violence, and women and children at risk or in need of medical care – and will be fully funded for the first year from the Government’s £12 billion international aid budget.
If Cabinet accept the recommendation, Solihull could receive its first family early in 2016.
Speaking ahead of the decision, Coun Karen Grinsell, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities & Partnerships, said: “There has been real sympathy and support from the general public for the plight of those Syrian families displaced into refugee camps on the Syrian border by the on-going violence within their homeland.
“Solihull is looking to play its part in offering to host some of the 20,000 most vulnerable families the Government has committed to take over the next five years.”
Any refugees coming to Solihull would be screened by the Government and United Nations (through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees) and the number of families the borough will accomodate will be agreed with West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership and Government.
She added: “Working with our colleagues in the community and voluntary sector I am confident if required we can provide the necessary accommodation and support to help them settle and begin a future away from conflict.
“I’m sure the Solihull community would welcome these refugees and provide a safe place for them to rebuild their lives and to begin thinking about a better future for themselves and their homeland.”