Six Syrian refugee families to be housed by Cherwell council

Cherwell District Council's headquarters
Cherwell District Council's headquarters

An additional six Syrian refugee families will be rehomed in Cherwell district after receiving the council’s approval last night (Tuesday, April 3).

Cherwell District Council’s executive voted in favour of taking on more refugees, believed to be up to 50 people, as part of the government’s target to accept 20,000 Syrians into the UK by 2020.

Council leader Cllr Barry Wood said at the meeting: “This is a constructive thing to do for a whole load of social and moral reasons other than the straight politics of it.

“So I’m grateful for the work officers have done, it has not been straightforward, but I’m grateful for the work they’ve done.”

The council pledged in 2016 to resettle six families under the government’s vulnerable persons relocation scheme (VPRS), with the sixth family due to arrive this spring.

Cllr Sean Woodcock, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: “Local Labour Party members in Banbury and Bicester have been involved with community groups on a very practical level in helping the original families move in and become engaged citizens in our communities, and we are thrilled and fully support this decision by Cherwell.”

Councillors were in agreement they should be helping more refugees, with Cllr Debbie Pickford saying it was their ‘moral duty’.

Families will be helped by finding homes through the private rented sector, focusing on three and four bedroom properties.