East Dunbartonshire set to welcome Syrian refugee families

The 'Jungle' camp in Calais before it was bulldozed.
The 'Jungle' camp in Calais before it was bulldozed.

East Dunbartonshire councillors have agreed to resettle Syrian refugees, including four children from the former ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais.

The unanimous decision was made at a meeting held last week, with the council pledging to “receive vulnerable families and unaccompanied asylum seeking children under the Syrian Resettlement Programme”.

Strathkelvin MSP Rona Mackay welcomed the news, which came over a year after an initial promise to help out with the crisis.

She recently put pressure on councillors after pointing out at Holyrood that East Dunbartonshire was one of only three Scottish council areas who had failed to welcome families displaced by war.

Ms Mackay said: “At long last, I am very glad some of these desperate refugees will find a home in East Dunbartonshire. I know that they will receive a warm welcome from everyone here who have witnessed their heartbreaking plight.

“However, I am confident the region has the means to help more, like our neighbouring local authorities in Glasgow or West Dunbartonshire – but this is a good start.”

As well as the four 
children from Calais, 
four families from 
Syria will also be rehomed in East Dunbartonshire.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “I’m delighted that we are in a position to progress with the Syrian Resettlement Programme.

“Widespread support for accommodating refugees in East Dunbartonshire has been expressed by many groups in the area and I’m sure our communities will welcome new arrivals.”