Council set to play its part in refugee crisis

Syrian refugees in Sicily.

Syrian refugees in Sicily.

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East Dunbartonshire Council

has pledged that it will play its part along with other councils in Scotland to help Syrian refugees.

The Scottish Government has promised to accept at least 2,000 of the 20,000 refugees which the UK Government has agreed to take.

And COSLA, the umbrella organisation for Scottish local authorities, says that Syrian refugees are likely to have arrived in many areas of Scotland by Christmas.

All 32 local authorities have agreed to support a “coordinated response” to the humanitarian crisis.

But not all council areas may end up receiving refugees due to the complex needs of those arriving.

East Dunbartonshire council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The council and our community planning partners have agreed a joint approach and confirmed we are willing to play our part alongside other councils in Scotland.

“The scale of the response needed means that we and others can only assist with the support of the UK and Scottish Governments.

“We are involved in national discussions through COSLA and our Community Planning Partnership Executive will meet in the coming weeks to determine our local arrangements based on what is being discussed nationally.

“We have been encouraging local people and organisations keen to help those affected by the crisis to do so via the website www.scotlandwelcomesrefugees.scot.”

COSLA president David O’Neill said there had been an “unprecedented response” from Scottish local government to the crisis and many councils had already made a commitment to take refugees.