Ashford could become home to up to 250 desperate Syrian refugees, if plans are approved at a cabinet meeting tonight. Council leader Gerry Clarkson has vowed to help families from the war-torn country as the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. If the plans are given the green light at the meeting, Cllr Clarkson hopes to have the first families in the borough by Christmas.
For five years, the council will fly in about 50 refugees a year from camps in and around Syria and provide them with accommodation in private rented houses. Families of about four to seven people will be processed and assessed by central government and flown to the UK with an automatic right to work and eligibility for housing and other benefits.
They will be met by council representatives at the airport, given housing from private landlords, and included in resettlement and integration programmes. After being in the country for five years, families will be able to decide whether the situation in Syria is safe enough for them to return or they will be able to apply to settle in the UK.by