Wales

Syrian refugees: How Welsh councils are helping

Syrian children at a refugee camp Image copyright AP

The first Syrian refugees to be settled in Wales are due to arrive this month, with four local authorities ready to welcome them.

About 50 people are due to be housed in Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly, councils say.

More will be dispersed to other areas in the new year.

Around Wales, some councils are able to say how many refugees they can take, while others are still waiting to decide.

Here is a round-up of what each Welsh council is doing:

ANGLESEY

The council will welcome 10 Syrian families (or 30 individuals) over the next three years.

BLAENAU GWENT

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

BRIDGEND

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

CAERPHILLY

Caerphilly council will house two families before Christmas - most likely in the town of Caerphilly.

They will be accommodated in private rented housing, arranged by the council. The Home Office will meet all of the costs of housing and any other support required.

The council expects the total number of families housed within the county borough to be low, and will assess the situation in the new year once the initial families have settled in.

CARDIFF

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

CARMARTHENSHIRE

The council is waiting to hear more details from the Welsh government but a recent council meeting heard about 60 people could be housed here.

CEREDIGION

Between 10 and 12 Syrian refugees are to be resettled in Aberystwyth before Christmas.

The refugees have been prioritised by staff from the United Nations, working closely with the Home Office in order to determine their suitability to be resettled in Ceredigion.

They will be housed in properties that private landlords have made available. The tenancies will be managed on their behalf by the Care Society, a stand-alone voluntary organisation.

CONWY

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

DENBIGHSHIRE

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

FLINTSHIRE

Flintshire plans to receive a number of families each year, although it has not yet given an exact number and does not know when they will arrive.

Chief Executive Colin Everett said: "The families would be housed and supported in private rented housing with no direct impact on waiting lists and times for council and social housing.

"The bigger challenge will be to integrate children into schools with full language and curriculum support, and to integrate families into local communities remembering that people will be mentally and emotionally scarred by the experience and will be in need of empathy and support."

GWYNEDD

Gwynedd Council says that on the basis of the 20,000 refugees that the UK is to receive over the next four and a half years, it estimates the county can expect between 24 and 40 people in that time - or 10 each year.

The authority says it does not yet know when they would arrive, but it has been contacted by a number of local people about helping house them.

A spokesman said: "We will consider the various options in terms of accommodation, including the offers received from members of the public and other properties which could be available within both the public and private sectors."

MERTHYR TYDFIL

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

MONMOUTHSHIRE

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

NEATH PORT TALBOT

The council says it is committed to taking 10 families and five of those are due to arrive before Christmas.

NEWPORT

Newport council has offered to accommodate 50 households over the life of the UK Government's vulnerable persons' relocation scheme in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

A spokesman said: "The make-up of these households will be determined by the availability of adequate services and provisions at the time.

"It is therefore not possible to put a definitive figure on the actual numbers of Syrian refugees likely to arrive in Newport."

PEMBROKESHIRE

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

POWYS

The council says the first Syrian refugees could arrive in Powys by the end of March, although it has not given details of how many people it expects to accommodate.

Councillor Darren Mayor, cabinet member for housing and property, said: "We have identified Ystradgynlais and Newtown as communities that are well placed to receive Syrian refugees because of the availability of family housing and capacity in local schools."

RHONDDA CYNON TAFF

Rhondda Cynon Taf council is preparing to house between 30 and 40 refugees, but it is not known when they will start arriving.

SWANSEA

The UK Government has said it will allow 20,000 refugees into the UK over a five-year timescale, and Swansea Council's intention is to allocate one house a month within this time to a refugee family — that means approximately 60 refugee families over five years.

It is looking to be ready for this by the start of the new year.

TORFAEN

Two families of Syrian refugees are due to arrive and resettle in Torfaen before Christmas.

Both families have young children and will arrive from refugee camps around Syria.

A further four families are expected to settle in Torfaen in the new year.

VALE OF GLAMORGAN

The Vale of Glamorgan council is working with Cardiff council ahead of refugees arriving in the area. The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

WREXHAM

The council does not yet know how many refugees it will take or when they will arrive.

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