Labour councillors have today reaffirmed their existing commitments to extend the city’s refugee resettlement scheme ahead of this evening’s full council meeting. Under the proposed plans, which have been in discussion for the majority of this year, the city would aim to resettle a further 200 refugees in 5 years – in addition to the 116 refugees that have already been resettled.
Cllr Nicky Massey, Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety, explained the council’s plans further;
“We are proud of Cambridge’s role as a City of Sanctuary, with 116 refugees already resettled in our community.
“The council has already achieved a tremendous amount, working alongside a number of partners including Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign, faith groups, other voluntary sector organisations and also South Cambridgeshire District Council, to offer homes to refugees in the city and surrounding areas.
“We are ambitious for Cambridge to take this commitment even further and welcome more refugees to share our wonderful, diverse city and all it has to offer. Once the scheme restarts, we will aim to help resettle a further 200 refugees in 5 years from when the scheme restarts.
“We’ve not got this far by acting alone and it follows that in setting this new, ambitious target we will need to rely on the generosity and commitment of a range of others, including nearby local authorities, housing associations and the city’s amazing community and voluntary sector.”
Cllr Carla McQueen, Lead Councillor for Refugees, reinforced this commitment and called on the Government to reopen the Refugee Resettlement Scheme;
“It’s vital that the Home Officer reopens their scheme because it’s the only mechanism by which refugees from abroad can lawfully be resettled.
“We are fully committed as a city council to playing our part and we call on other district councils, housing associations and private landlords to join us in doing whatever they can to make this ambitious target a reality. I’m proud of our record, and of the potential we have to do even more.”