Highland Council update on refugees

Highland Council is working with COSLA and community planning partners to plan and prepare for welcoming Syrian refugees to the Highlands.

The Council has agreed with COSLA to take up to 25 - 30 families, over the period of the national re-settlement programme, subject to the confirmation of available housing. Regular meetings are taking place with NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Highland Third Sector Partnership and the Department For Work and Pensions to discuss issues including accommodation, employment, education and health.

Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: “Highland Council remains committed to playing its part in helping refugees from Syria. We are continuing to work with our key partners to ensure that we are in the best position possible to ensure a smooth transition for refugee families when they arrive.”

She added, “We are unlikely to receive the first refugees until early in the New Year and they will certainly need support in adjusting to a new life, a new culture and our Highland winter.”

Cllr Davidson said she understands and is heartened by the genuine goodwill of people in the Highlands.

She said: “Many people from across the Highlands are very worried about the terrible situation in and around Syria and are naturally anxious to do what they can. It is a complex and difficult issue. However, the most effective way of helping refugees in the immediate term is to donate money to support charities, such as Blythswood and the British Red Cross, who provide help on the ground. It is more cost effective to give money, as food and other essential supplies can be bought where the refugees are located.”

13 Oct 2015
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