King’s Lynn set for role as eight Syrian families head to Norfolk, council told

Syrian refugees at the Dahb El Sim refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon. ENGPPP00120131220114155
Syrian refugees at the Dahb El Sim refugee camp in Saida, Lebanon. ENGPPP00120131220114155

Lynn could welcome some Syrian families within weeks as part of the national response to the current refugee crisis, councillors have heard.

Last week, officials from the town’s Quaker meeting called on West Norfolk Council to provide sanctuary for at least 10 families fleeing the conflict.

Local authority officials have also been in talks with the government about their role in the effort, which was the subject of a question from independent Mike Tilbury during Thursday’s full council meeting.

In response, leader Nick Daubney said: “The indication seems to be over the next weeks, Norfolk can expect to welcome eight families from Syria which will be centred on urban centres.”

He listed Lynn, Norwich and Yarmouth as likely areas where the families could go to.

Earlier this month, the government announced that another 20,000 Syrian refugees would be admitted to the country over the next five years.

And Mr Daubney admitted it had taken some time to obtain detailed information about what was expected of the authority from government officials.

But he said politicians and officers were working effectively with neighbouring authorities on plans to meet the needs of the new arrivals.

He said: “The importance of getting this planning right is people jump to where people live. It’s bigger than that. There will be all kinds of needs

“I’m very aware how important this is and I’m aware we need to make these people as welcome as possible.”