Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme conference and regional coordination...

On 3 March the East of England Strategic Migration Partnership (SMP) organised a regional conference entitled ‘Resettling Vulnerable Syrian Refugees: A multi-agency approach for the East of England’.

On 3 March the East of England Strategic Migration Partnership (SMP) organised a regional conference entitled ‘Resettling Vulnerable Syrian Refugees: A multi-agency approach for the East of England’. The event provided most up to date information on the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme (SRRP), allowed for sharing good practice by the local authorities already participating in it and those just about to accept Syrian families. It was also an opportunity to network, learn about the proposals for regional coordination of the Programme and hear from organisations providing wrap-around services, housing and community support to Syrian families arriving into the region.



104 participants attended the event. 32 of the 52 local authorities in the region were represented, with all 5 county councils and 4 out of 6 unitary councils (the other 2 sent apologies). The conference was also attended by members of the Joint Team for the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme, national, regional and local partners, including the LGA, Cabinet Office, Public Health England, Police and faith and voluntary sector organisations.



Regional coordination model



The national Syrian Refugee Resettlement Team has now confirmed that regional coordination should go ahead. The East of England Strategic Migration Partnership will work with the existing groupings (either led by county councils or those which are consortia of district councils, or those authorities working independently) to match offers of support with the Syrian families ready to resettle in the region. This matching has been done by the national Syrian Resettlement Team, but with the increasing numbers of families arriving into the UK to meet the 20,000 target by the end of this Parliament, a regional model is needed to cope with high volumes.



The SMP will inform the Syrian Resettlement Team of the number and type of cases that can be accommodated and the timing for arrivals, and the Team will provide cases which meet this profile. The intention is to use economies of scale and to group arrivals into numbers large enough for charter planes to arrive direct in regions as this makes the process easier for all involved. 



In the transition period the Syrian Resettlement Team will be working closely with the SMP to provide local authorities with the support needed to keep up the flow of arrivals. In some cases this will mean the Team will need to continue to contact authorities direct but they will work with the SMP to understand the levels of direct support that are needed during this transition.   



From 1st April the SMP will start contacting councils which have indicated their support for the scheme to discuss next steps.



For further information on the Programme please contact



Gosia Strona Malgorzata.strona@eelga.gov.uk



Louise Gooch louise.gooch@eelga.gov.uk



Ismeta Selimanjin-Kay ismeta.selimanjin-kay@eelga.gov.uk


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