Fifty Syrian refugee families set for Derbyshire move later this year

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A new council report says 50 Syrian refugee families are set to be housed in Derbyshire later this year, with Matlock listed as one of the main areas.

The Derbyshire Dales District Council document states that a number of officers from county council departments, district councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the voluntary sector have formed the Derbyshire Syrian VPR Partnership Group to look at which areas have available properties and resources such as GPs, dentists and school places.

The report says that “progress” is being made, and that about eight families could be accommodated in areas which have “the greatest number of social rented homes”, mainly focusing on Matlock and Ashbourne, with potential in Wirksworth and Darley Dale.

However, it does state that three Derbyshire districts have “declined to be involved at this time”.

“Initial discussions with local housing providers are at an early stage,” the report says.

“Whilst other areas of the UK have also used private rented homes, this is not likely here given the cost of private rents and lack of availability. However all options will be considered at this time.”

The re-homing of refugees will be two intakes of 25.

The report adds that “adequate resources” need to be set aside for the coordinating and planning aspects.

“To that end Derbyshire County Council has asked partner agencies to contribute funding for two full-time equivalent posts for the first six month posts as pump priming for the programme. It is suggested that Derbyshire Dales DC contribute £5,000 from the Homelessness Grant programme.”

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We’re working with partners from district and borough councils, health, and the voluntary sector to plan for their arrival and make it a smooth integration.”