The Lib Dem-controlled South Cambridgeshire District Council is planning to make provision for up to five refugee families in the district.
Depending on the scheme through which they arrive, they may be Syrian families who have fled violence and torture in their country, or they may be parents/carers with vulnerable or ill children from Sudan, Syria or Iran.
During the previous Tory administration, the Lib Dems’ calls to assist such people in desperate circumstances were repeatedly overruled. Under Lib Dem control, the Council is now pleased to be able to offer suitable accommodation for these families alongside the practical support they need to set up their new lives and integrate into their new communities.
Leader of the Council Cllr Bridget Smith said: “The previous administration refused to make provision for any refugees in what is one of the wealthiest areas of the country. We are very fortunate to live in South Cambs - we should be sharing that fortune with people who have less than nothing through no fault of their own.”
This humanitarian response also reflects the Council’s recent consultation for its 2019-24 Business Plan - its intention to work with regional and local partners to support refugees and asylum seekers received no negative responses.
Cllr Hazel Smith, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The international refugee crisis sees families fleeing their homes and enduring truly horrendous experiences. It is up to all councils across the UK to take action to provide safe accommodation and, since taking control of the Council in May 2018, the administration has been determined to play its part and offer these families a chance to integrate into safe and welcoming communities.”
A final decision on the plans to support the refugee families will be made at the Council Cabinet meeting on 3rdApril 2019.