Almost a year to the day after Labour councillors first called on Wandsworth Council to assist refugee families from Syria, the Council has finally welcomed its first Syrian refugee family to the borough.
The family is being resettled under the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement (VPR) Programme. The scheme, which houses refugees in private rental accommodation, is paid for by the Home Office.
Councillor Fleur Anderson, Wandsworth Labour’s Deputy Leader and a member of Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees, said: “For a year we have been pushing the Council to do more to help people fleeing the war in Syria so I am delighted and proud that the Council is finally stepping up to the plate”.
She added: “The last time this was debated, we extracted a promise that the Council would take in a minimum of 10 families by next Summer and we will hold them to this”.
The VPR Programme targets the refugees “at greatest risk” where “evacuation from the region is the only option”, according to the Government. It says that particular attention is paid to survivors of torture and violence, or women and children who need medical care.
The government has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children by 2020.