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Syrian refugees - how Craven could help

Craven could accept around 20 Syrian refugees under proposals to help resettle 20,000 nationally over the next five years.


North Yorkshire is likely to welcome around 200 people over the five-year period, based on current population size.

Skipton would be the preferred location for settlement within Craven, as it has good transport links, job prospects and housing stock as well as its close proximity to Bradford where there is an existing Syrian refugee community and specialist support services.

However no firm commitment has yet been made as North Yorkshire county and district councils are still waiting for confirmation from Government as to how the scheme will be funded.

Paul Ellis, director of services for Craven District Council, said: "Whilst these numbers are relatively low, it is very important that any resettlement scheme is handled carefully.

"This is much more than a housing issue. We have to make sure we have the right infrastructure in place to properly support these families. This includes looking at county wide mapping of potential areas to house them; capacity in terms of school places; availability of accommodation; access to services; community cohesion; financial implications and provision of resources to manage the whole process."

Craven District Council has formed a partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, the county's other district authorities, North Yorkshire Police and health partners to decide whether the area can successfully participate in the resettlement scheme and if so, how this could be achieved.

Paul Ellis said: "Whilst an 'in-principle' agreement to support Governments resettlement programme has been given by the Leaders and Chief Executives of all North Yorkshire Councils, full details of how the Government's scheme will work and be funded have not yet been confirmed.

"Until we have clarification on how costs to the council will be reimbursed, no firm commitment can be given as to our participation. 

"Ultimately of course, final decisions with how to proceed in our borough will lie with councillors and we intend to take a report to committee, with recommendations for consideration as soon as soon as details emerge from Government."