Following the statement from the City of Cardiff Council that they will be receiving a number of unaccompanied children from the Calais camp, the WLGA has reaffirmed Welsh local government’s continuing commitment to provide humanitarian support to refugees.
WLGA Housing Spokesperson Cllr Dyfed Edwards (Gwynedd) said:
“Local authorities remain at the forefront of supporting the UK’s response to this humanitarian crisis. They have been involved in the planning with the Home Office for the arrival of refugee families, providing accommodation and support in resettling people under the Syrian Resettlement Programme. More recently, local authorities are playing a critical role in planning for the arrival of unaccompanied children from the Calais camp and are doing this work at speed. The City of Cardiff Council in particular should be commended for its rapid response and the UK Government would not have been able to respond in the way it has without the active involvement and support of local authorities.”
“This is a long-term Programme over 5 years and whilst we recognise many would like to see more support provided to more people more quickly, councils have to work within the targets and arrangements set by the Home Office. Wales’ authorities remain on track to meet their commitments as part of the UK-wide response but we have much work yet to do to provide places of safety and opportunities for people to rebuild their lives.
“On behalf of the WLGA, I would like to thank all the officers involved in supporting the resettlement of refugee families across Wales over the past year and for the commitment and compassion they will continue to demonstrate in the future. The WLGA would like to acknowledge the contributions made by authorities so far, as well as continuing to encourage and support authorities in their willingness to step up and receive families and unaccompanied children who are feeling war and seeking sanctuary. We could not have done this on our own either and we are grateful for the support Welsh authorities have received from the Welsh Government, the third sector, health bodies and other partners.”