In 2015, Gloucestershire County Council, along with the six district councils and partners in health, pledged to relocate 140 families on the Syrian Refugee resettlement programme, within the county. Gloucestershire County Council is celebrating this pledge and the success stories in its Corporate Report. However, halfway through this scheme only 37 families, around 25 per cent of the target, have been found new homes in Gloucestershire.
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson is bringing a motion to County Council on 27 June calling for senior officials and the Home Office to work together to ease the bureaucratic red tape which is hindering the good work of partners across Gloucestershire.
Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton and Northleach) said:
“We’ve all been appalled at the desperate scenes we see on TV and I was pleased in 2015 when Gloucestershire made a strong statement by offering to relocate 140 families on the Syrian Refugee resettlement programme. I am particularly proud of the leadership being shown by Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham, whose offer to relocate 100 families makes up over 70 per cent of the total.
“The individuals and families on this programme are those of the greatest need and it is important for us to offer a safe and welcoming home, both for them as individuals and for the UK’s own national security.
“However, at the halfway stage, Gloucestershire is falling well behind schedule and I fear that the red tape is stifling the best intentions of the county and its partners. As such, I am calling on the leader of Gloucestershire County Council to demonstrate the leadership it is already seeking credit for in its Corporate Report, by working with senior officers, the chief executive and officials within the Home Office to ensure the county is able to fulfil its commitments by 2020.”