Council to take back seat on refugees

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FAREHAM council will not take a proactive role and volunteer to help refugees settle in the town, according to its leader Sean Woodward.

Speaking at the council’s executive meeting on Monday, Cllr Woodward said Fareham would wait for instructions from Hampshire County Council as the biggest pressures incurred by helping refugees would be placed on county-run services.

He said: ‘The resettlement of vulnerable people will inevitably have a big impact on social services, health and education, so it’s important that any numbers are coordinated at a county level.

‘If the county council feels it has the capacity to offer education and welfare in our borough then they will contact us to establish if we can help as the housing authority.

‘When and if that happens, we will review our options.’

The call for local authorities to voluntarily offer help in the crisis came after prime minister David Cameron bowed to intensifying pressure last month and announced that Britain would take thousands more refugees from Syria.