Credit where credit is due. This blog believes in calling out the good and the bad. I was heartened to see that Barnets Conservative administration has been receiving high praise for its work with Syrian refugees. A press release on the council website says:
"The Government has thanked Barnet for its role in supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK.
It follows the publication of new government figures which show that the UK has resettled over 5,500 Syrian refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme putting it on track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 by 2020.
Barnet has currently resettled 37 Syrian refugees out of its commitment to resettle 50 individuals as part of the VPR scheme.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“The support of Barnet and other local authorities has been paramount in helping us resettle so many vulnerable people who have fled conflict.
“The humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented which is why we decided to undertake one of the largest resettlement schemes in the UK’s history.
“The hard work will continue throughout this Parliament as we provide those who have been traumatised and damaged by war with a safe environment and the chance to rebuild their lives.”
Barnet has been housing Syrian refugees with support from central government, which fully funds the first year of resettlement using the overseas aid budget. The VPR scheme is voluntary, but so far more than 200 local authorities have housed refugees.
In September 2015, the Government expanded the scheme to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians by the end of this Parliament in 2020. Over the same period, we will resettle up to 3,000 individuals from the Middle East and North Africa through our Vulnerable Children's Resettlement Scheme."
It can only be good that Barnet Council is seeking to trumpet the fact that it has a decent and humane attitude to refugees. Well done to Richard Cornelius and his team.