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NLC Praised For Refugee Plan
The plan to house around 120 refugees to North Lanarkshire has been welcomed by one of the organisers of the Wishaw to Calais appeal.
Following the council’s announcement that it would take the refugees after consultation with the local authority leadership, Peter McDade said: "Our full operation wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the council and I know that having spoken to councillors and officers of the council they are very compassionate and are keen to do all they can. They have given us storage units and vans and it is great to know that they will be given these people a home here."
The council agreed to take their share building on the success the local authority had with housing 80 refugees who arrived in the area from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.
At a meeting of the council’s recent policy and resources committee, North Lanarkshire Chief Executive Gavin Whitefield said the council had joined the Gateway Protection Programme, the UK Government’s refugee re-settlement programme.
In his report, Mr Whitefield said: "This is a rapidly changing agenda following UK and Scottish Government announcements in recent days including the establishment of a Task Force by the Scottish Government and the announcement by the Prime Minister of an increase in the numbers of refugees that are to be resettled in the UK to 20,000. Following consultation with the council leadership, the council has confirmed its support for the resettlement programme as far as possible and this has been confirmed to COSLA. The Scottish Government has made a commitment to support 2000 refugees which would equate to up to 120 individuals being resettled in North Lanarkshire. The final figure will depend on factors such as family composition and phasing of the programme."