Safer Communities Cabinet Member- Minutes – 2 April 2020

3 REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT 2020/21 – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval for the council to be part of the new Global Resettlement Scheme and confirming the council’s Refugee Resettlement Pledge for 2020/21.

In 2019 the government announced a continued commitment to the resettlement of refugees beyond the current schemes. Refugee resettlement was currently delivered across a number of different programmes; The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (Syria), The Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (Middle East and North Africa) and The Gateway Protection Scheme. All of the current schemes would come to an end in 2020. The Government had therefore announced its intention to continue with Refugee Resettlement in one consolidated scheme which would be called the Global Resettlement Scheme (GRS).

The new scheme would not be limited to any country or region and would continue to identify and resettle the most vulnerable refugees, identified and referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Under the GRS, the government would broaden the geographical focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa region and be better placed to swiftly respond to international crises in coordination with global partners.

In the first year of operation of the new scheme, the UK would aim to resettle in the region of 5000 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. The scheme would continue to purposefully target those greatest in need of assistance, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk.

In order to support the scheme, councils were asked to renew their commitment to refugee resettlement and confirm the numbers they are proposing to resettle in a pledge to the Regional Migration Partnership. The Home Office required the pledge to be given as a specific number so the council was proposing to resettle four families, consisting of 16 individuals.

As part of the GRS, the Government had confirmed that the tariff for the GRS will be the same as the previous schemes and the continued support received in the form of advice and training for the Regional Migration Partnership would remain in place.

Since 2016 all the families had been housed by Ongo Housing and had resettlement support from a dedicated worker at Ongo, funded through the scheme.

Resolved – (a) That the council’s involvement in the Global Resettlement Scheme and pledge to take further families by April 2022, as set out in the report, be approved, and (b) that arrangements for housing and support for the individual families be put in place as required and all existing arrangements for other support be continued.