Bromley’s Labour leader ‘disappointed’ as report shows council has not accepted any Syrian refugees

PUBLISHED: 09:58 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 14:27 03 August 2016

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children

© Gulay Sakalli

The new report says local authorities are not ‘pulling their weight’ in accepting refugees

Labour leader councillor Angela WilkinsLabour leader councillor Angela Wilkins

Bromley’s Labour leader has said she is ‘disappointed’ the council is not doing more to resettle displaced Syrians as a new report showed the borough had not accepted any refugees under a government-backed scheme.

A report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee says many local Authorities are not ‘pulling their weight’ in resettling Syrian refugees and implies the government could fail to meet its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrians by 2020.

Labour leader councillor Angela Wilkins said: “I am disappointed that Bromley Council is not doing more.

“We think that the council has a responsibility to accommodate and care for people whose lives have been torn apart.

“It is absolutely obvious there is a problem. We are one of the wealthiest boroughs and I think the council could get involved in more community stuff, because there are members of the public who would be willing to help if the council showed more leadership.”

Launched in 2005, the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme aimed to ensure an ‘equitable distribution’ of refugees so no local authority bore a disproportionate share of the burden.

Yet the figures reveal a wide disparity between the number of refugees accepted in different parts of the UK.

Coventry has resettled the most refugees (105), with Nottingham (81), Renfrewshire (68) and Gateshead (62) also accepting large numbers, while many local authorities have not accepted any.

Only four Greater London boroughs - Barnet, Camden, Islington and Kingston-Upon-Thames - have so far accepted any refugees.

A spokesperson for Bromley Council said: “A general letter to all councils last year requested assistance on a voluntary basis – given our current pressures we were not in a position to offer accommodation.

“Since then we have not received any direct requests to provide support and accommodation for Syrian refugees and as such have not accommodated any to date.”

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