Helping refugees isn’t just about providing housing, says Lichfield District Council leader

The leader of Lichfield District Council has said that support for refugees is about more than just providing housing.

An online petition has called on the local authority to provide housing for families fleeing Syria.

A Syrian refugee camp. Pic: Cmacauley

A Syrian refugee camp. Pic: Cmacauley

At a recent meeting Labour opposition group leader, Cllr Sue Woodward, asked the Conservative administration at Lichfield District Council to outline what actions it was planning to take in relation to the refugee crisis.

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of the council, insisted the local authority was liaising with other organisations to put necessary plans in place.

“We have been working with colleagues at the county council as well as other departments, and we attended a meeting at Lichfield Cathedral where other concerned organisations and individuals came together in response to the crisis,” he said.

“We are committed to assist where we are able and are seeking clarification on the process and funding from the Government.

“While naturally keen to assist, it is not just housing that is required, but mentoring and support, school places and health provision.”

Cllr Woodward said she was pleased to hear the council was looking to make provision for refugees.

“I referred to the fact that the Government is currently offering local authorities £25,000 per family in support costs, but families may not want to stay in the original area but move elsewhere to be near family or their own communities.

“What happens then isn’t known, but people should still be given choice.

“I welcome Lichfield District Council’s commitment to work with partners to address current needs in most appropriate way.”

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