An estimated eight Syrian refugees look set to be relocated in Eastbourne each year over the next five years, according to the latest Government initiative to help the growing crisis.
The numbers are based on 200 refugees being offered assistance in East Sussex in light of the pledge by Prime Minister David Cameron to take in 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years. Those 200 will be spread across Sussex with Eastbourne, Lewes, Wealden, Hastings and Rother councils all taking a share.
Estimates are that approximately eight people will be rehoused within each area per year for five years. All those will have to meet strict criteria and come direct from camps in Syria, Turkey and Jordan and not the so called Calais Jungle in France.
Vulnerable children and orphans will be prioritised along with those who have been tortured.
They will also have to meet strict council criteria to be housed.
An emergency meeting was held at Eastbourne Town Hall yesterday morning (Tuesday) after which the council said it would play its full part in what it called “a distressing, complex and rapidly evolving situation”.
Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said, “We are now waiting to see how support arrangements will be developed by the Government and will respond to these plans in the most expedient way possible.
“We do not yet have full details of the requirements but will work with the Government and local partners including other councils, health and voluntary and community partners to ensure any refugees are properly supported in and by the local community.
“Based on the Government announcements to date, we believe the potential number of refugees for most areas across the country is likely to be limited and it is likely to be some time until there are arrivals.
“In the meantime anyone able to offer self-contained accommodation is asked to contact the council’s housing team on Eastbourne 410000.
“Financial donations can be made through the recognised national charities including Oxfam, Red Cross and Unicef or to the UNHCR Syria Emergency.”
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