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Syrian refugees won't be housed on Sheppey

Rumours that refugees are going to be housed in holiday camps on Sheppey have been denied.

There has been talk circulating on the Island that Swale council is to commandeer caravans at three sites. But this week the council insisted there were no plans.

A spokesman said: “Our housing team say there is no truth in the rumours about the caravans on Sheppey.”

MPs will be able to vote on revised government proposals. Picture: SWNS.com
MPs will be able to vote on revised government proposals. Picture: SWNS.com

Council leader Cllr Andrew Bowles had previously told members at a full council meeting in Sittingbourne last month that the council had yet to commit to finding homes for Syrian refugees. He reminded members it no longer had any council houses of its own.

He said: “A county-wide partnership to oversee the Syrian refugee support scheme has been formed with district councils, housing, health, and social care partners.

“Once the money has been agreed with the government, it is anticipated that specialist organisations the county council has already commissioned to carry out vital homelessness work will be able to extend their contracts and offer support to the incoming Syrians.”

All district councils in Kent have signed up to the partnership in principle.

Cllr Andrew Bowles
Cllr Andrew Bowles

Ashford has confirmed it will take 50 people (about 10 families) a year for the next five years. Dover has indicated it will take three families a year and Shepway says it will take two.

Cllr Bowles said: “Regardless of where they are placed, it is vital the appropriate funding is guaranteed before families arrive and that all partners – particularly health and mental health – are fully engaged and resourced to the necessary capacity.”

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