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Refugees Welcome in Westminster: New campaign asks council to offer homes to Syrian refugees

Pimlico & Knightsbridge branch member Fleur Brennan writes about a new campaign asking Westminster Council to offer homes to Syrian refugees... 

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A call to give sanctuary in Westminster borough to 50 Syrian refugees is the focus of a new petition launched by Refugees Welcome and local campaigners.

The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) was set up in 2016 by David Cameron and Theresa May, and aims to relocate 20,000 refugees by 2020, using funding from central government. But so far, not one refugee has come to Westminster under the scheme.

Under the VPRS, the government pays £20,520 over five years per refugee - plus funding for additional circumstances, such as disability or mental health needs - and they would be housed in private rented accommodation. In addition, voluntary bodies and community organisations including Migrants OrganiseCitizens UK and Refugees Welcome will provide them with social, emotional and cultural support.

Families for whom refugee camps are most dangerous have already been registered by the Home Office and are waiting for a welcome and a new home. A new petition - which you can sign here - is asking Westminster City Council to bring 50 of them here under the scheme. 

The VPRS needs local councils to take the initiative - and other London councils such as Islington, Camden and Kensington & Chelsea, have already started taking refugees under this 'gold standard' resettlement scheme.

Let’s do it in Westminster. Get involved by signing and sharing the petition if you live, work or study in Westminster - and coming to the next Westminster Council meeting on 3rd May at Porchester Hall, where our campaigners will be leafleting. 

If you'd like more details, please contact Fleur at fleur.brennan@lineone.net.

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