Sheffield to ‘immediately’ open doors to Syrian refugees

Councillors in Sheffield vote on a motion of no confidence in South Yorkshire's Police Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright.  Thousands of people including the Prime Minister have called for Shaun Wright to step down from his position as South Yorkshire PCC. Alexis Jay OBE led an independent investigation into child abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire between 1997 and 2007, finding that at least 1,400 children had been victims of abuse.'Tom Maddick / Rossparry.co.uk
Councillors in Sheffield vote on a motion of no confidence in South Yorkshire's Police Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright. Thousands of people including the Prime Minister have called for Shaun Wright to step down from his position as South Yorkshire PCC. Alexis Jay OBE led an independent investigation into child abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire between 1997 and 2007, finding that at least 1,400 children had been victims of abuse.'Tom Maddick / Rossparry.co.uk
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Sheffield will ‘immediately’ open its doors to Syrian refugees, the council has announced tonight.

About ‘10 to 15’ Syrian refugee families will be immediately resettled in the city, Sheffield Council has said.

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That will likely equate to about 50 refugees, and the authority says it is ‘open to talks’ about taking more in the future.

That is in addition to 130 refugees the council has already agreed to rehome this year as part of the Government’s Gateway Protection Programme.

18 facts you need to know about the Syrian refugee crisis

The news comes as David Cameron announced today that the UK will take in 20,000 refugees.

Those being resettled in Sheffield will be paid for from national government money.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield Council, said: “In Sheffield we have a strong tradition of helping those fleeing persecution.

“We were the first authority to take part in the Government’s Gateway Protection Programme and have done so for the last 11 years.

“We currently have a funded agreement to resettle 130 refugees this year.

“The current situation is a great concern. So we are making an immediate offer to Government to resettle ten to fifteen families from Syria as soon as possible, and are open to further talks with them about playing our part in the future national resettlement programme. This is in addition to our current Gateway agreement.

“The support provided to people will be directly funded by Central Government. This is essential because we know, through our experiences over the last decade, that we need the resources in place to support people.”

People in Sheffield who want to make a donation to help support refugees can do this online through the Refugee Council at www.refugeecouncil.org.uk