Harrogate set to take in 50 refugees as part of Government-led resettlement scheme

Councillors in Harrogate will next week be asked to confirm the council’s commitment to taking in more than 50 refugees as part of a Government-led resettlement scheme.

Earlier this year, the Local Government North Yorkshire and York committee, made up of leaders from the area’s authorities, backed the future refugee resettlement scheme from 2020/21, pending final approval from the individual councils.

It would see around 200 people fleeing conflicts in other countries re-homed in the county over the space of four years.

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Harrogate Borough Council along with the county’s six other district councils Have each been allocated an approximate number of people to house.

Harrogate could be set to take in 50 refugees as part of a Government-led scheme.

From 2016 to 2018, Harrogate accepted 61 Syrian refugees fleeing conflict in their own country as part of another county-wide resettlement program of approximately 200 people.

The new proposed allocation would see an estimated 52 people resettled in Harrogate, the most of any district, between 2020/21 and 2023/24.

On December 16, Harrogate Council’s cabinet will meet and decide whether to give its backing to the scheme.

A report prepared for councillors states that subject to the funding from the Government being secured they should welcome those fleeing conflict.

The report adds: “The number of refugees worldwide is calculated to be the highest ever at 25.9 million, and since 2017 refugees have made up almost one per cent of the global population for the first time in modern history.

“Harrogate District successfully took part in the Syrian Resettlement Programme (SRP) and Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS). The welcoming hand of hospitality should be extended once again to people in extreme distress.”

Of the 61 people - which equated to 12 families - that have settled in Harrogate since 2016, one family left the borough as they wanted to be nearer relatives.