Council to welcome 50 Syrian refugees to North Herts

NHDC offices in Letchworth

NHDC offices in Letchworth - Credit: Archant

Refugees fleeing war-torn Syria will get help as they start rebuilding their lives after North Herts councillors unanimously backed a call to provide housing in the district over the next five years.

North Herts District Council passed a motion proposed by Labour’s Councillor Clare Billing, seconded by Councillor Deborah Segalini, which calls on the Home Office to allocate 50 refugees to the area, and encourages social housing landlord North Hertfordshire Homes to make properties available.

Rafida Alhagiali, a volunteer for North Herts Ethnic Minority Forum, told the Comet: “It’s good news that the UK and North Herts in particular is offering refuge to people who are fleeing war-torn Syria. People do not leave their country unless it’s a matter of life and death, and the Syrian refugees who come the UK are hard-working, educated people who will contribute to our society.”

Councillor Frank Radcliffe, who leads the Labour group on the district council, said: “We’re pleased the motion was passed unanimously. I’m glad we are able to help people from countries who are suffering from the dreadful effects of war.

“We’d love to help more refugees but it appears David Cameron’s Conservative party is far more interested in dropping bombs on innocent Syrian families in the Middle East rather than attempting to help them.”

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Councillor Bernard Lovewell added: “Members voted unanimously in favour of letting the Home Office know the council would be interested in helping 50 refugees to resettle in North Herts over the next five years, subject to satisfactory funding.

“For refugees to settle into the community successfully we need the help of private and social landlords, the county council, health agencies and charitable and community groups like North Herts Minority Ethnic Forum.”

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A further 20 refugees are expected to make new homes in Stevenage.

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