West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith updated the County Council today on the council’s response to the arrival of children from the Calais refugee camps.
The arrival of the children is being coordinated at a national level.
West Sussex County Council, along with other councils across the country, is playing its part to ensure children from the Calais refugee camps who have family in this country are able to be relocated.
The County Council has a statutory responsibility, along with all other councils, to support unaccompanied asylum seekers if they arrive in our county and the priority is to safeguard the children and reunite them with their families.
Here is the full statement of Louise Goldsmith’s speech:
“I wish to inform members about the County Council’s role and responsibilities in connection with the current arrangements to settle young people in the UK from the refugee camps in Calais.
“The French authorities and other agencies on the ground believe that all of them have a family connection within the UK which means they may have a legal right to settle within this country. The Home Office is not able, at this time, to confirm how many will arrive over the next period but more are expected over the next week or so. This is a very fluid situation.
“This situation is being coordinated at a national level. However, along with other councils across the country, we are playing our part to ensure young people from the Calais camps and other refugee camps in Italy and Greece can be helped. Some who do not have family connections but were living in the camps as at March this year have also been given leave to enter the country.
“Our responsibility is to work with partners to ensure those who arrive are helped to settle into family life and their new communities as quickly and easily as possible."
You can watch the Full Council meeting here.