Norfolk agrees to take in 50 refugees

Migrants and refugees are made to wait in order to clear a police line close to Croatia's border with Serbia at Bapska, Croatia, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Migrants traded punches and scuffled with police at a border crossing between Serbia and Croatia Thursday as pent-up pressures on their trek toward hoped-for safe haven in the European Union boiled over. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) PPP-151023-125351001
Migrants and refugees are made to wait in order to clear a police line close to Croatia's border with Serbia at Bapska, Croatia, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Migrants traded punches and scuffled with police at a border crossing between Serbia and Croatia Thursday as pent-up pressures on their trek toward hoped-for safe haven in the European Union boiled over. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) PPP-151023-125351001

Members of Norfolk County Council have today voted overwhelmingly to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian refugees into the county.

A full meeting of the council voted 64 votes to six with one abstention to take part in the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme which will see refugees settled in the Norwich area.

Members of UKIP were the only ones to vote against, with its leader on the council Toby Coke saying that “we have to look after our own first”.

Previously it has been reported that the refugees are all likely to be settled in Norwich.

The scheme gives priority to survivors of torture and violence, women and children at risk and those in medical need and is part of a government initiative to accept up to 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps around Syria over the next five years.

All councils in Norfolk have committed in principle to contributing towards a predicted housing shortfall for resettling the refugees.

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “Norfolk has a long tradition of extending the hand of friendship to those in need and I am sure that will hold true in the case of the Syrian refugees.

“This was an overwhelming vote. A number of voluntary agencies have offered positive support to ensure the arrival of the refugees and their help - along with the excellent groundwork already done by officers and councils in Norfolk – will give the scheme every chance of success.”