Resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees 'on track'

There are enough local authority places to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four years, the government has revealed.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that 2,800 Syrians had arrived in the UK by the end of June, and had been successfully settled in more than 100 council areas.

Extra money has also been pledged to help refugees arriving via the vulnerable person resettlement scheme learn English.

Ms Rudd said the initiative, which launched a year ago, was on track.

"Securing the 20,000 pledges within 12 months is testament to the immense goodwill and generosity of the British people and the effort and determination of local authorities across the UK.

"We are on track and delivering our commitment to help the most vulnerable Syrians displaced by the conflict."

The additional £10 million funding for English language training will mean all adults arriving through the scheme will receive an extra 12 hours a week of tuition, for up to six months, the Home Office said.

Councillor David Simmonds, who is the Local Government Association's asylum, refugee, and migration task force chairman, said: "We have previously said that we were confident in ensuring there were sufficient places to support the Government's pledge to resettle 20,000 people by 2020, and the focus must now be on ensuring families are matched to the right placements and that they arrive safely and are well supported.

"Councils will be helping to support some of the most vulnerable families fleeing Syria who will need ongoing support from health and social care services to cope with injuries, disabilities and to recover from the severe trauma they have experienced."