Welsh councils defend Syrian refugee help

The Alrariees family
Image caption The Alrariees family from Syria at the National Eisteddfod

A Welsh councils' body has defended the help local authorities have given to Syrian refugees after a UK parliamentary committee said many were not doing enough.

The Home Affairs select committee found five of the 22 Welsh councils had taken a total of 78 refugees by March.

The government has a target of settling 20,000 Syrians in the UK by 2020.

The Welsh Local Government Association said 100 more had settled in Wales since the figures were calculated.

The five Welsh local authorities named in the report, entitled Migration Crisis, were:

  • Caerphilly - seven
  • Ceredigion - 10
  • Neath Porth Talbot - 27
  • Swansea - 24
  • Torfaen - 10

The report said the UK Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme started well, and there were "signs the co-operation necessary between central government, local authorities, and the various agencies involved is working efficiently".

However it added: "It is clear from the recently-published statistics that more local authorities need to contribute to providing asylum accommodation, including for Syrian refugees.

"There is now a two-tier system among local authorities, with some providing support to Syrian refugees and others not doing so."

The WLGA said Wales' councils had played a full role in the resettlement scheme and were having to plan for a long-term process.

Dyfed Edwards, the group's migration spokesman, said: "More Welsh councils are standing at the ready to receive refugees as the UK-wide scheme progresses over the coming months and years.

"Our councils are acting with urgency, with a wide range of national partners and work is well underway to prepare Welsh communities to help support the arrival of refugees in their area."

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