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Wales becomes ‘nation of sanctuary’ for asylum seekers

The Welsh government has declared ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ status for Wales to welcome people through safe and legal routes who need help on humanitarian grounds to rebuild their lives.

Caerphilly County Council has today (July 7) agreed to take part in a pilot to become an asylum dispersal area in Wales.

The Council will join five other Welsh local authority dispersal areas, including Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Wrexham and Conwy.

A dispersal area is a designated place where the Council has agreed with the Home Office that it will provide support for asylum seekers.

Cabinet members have agreed to support five families in the Caerphilly county borough. The Council will work with an organisation called Clearsprings Ready Homes, which will be responsible for sourcing suitable private rental properties in areas that meet the needs of each family.

Cllr Philippa Marsden, the council’s leader, said the skills, experience and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers are useful to Wales and their inclusion will enhance its communities. 

Wales already have a positive experience of settling refugee families in the Caerphilly county borough, through our involvement since 2015 in the UK Resettlement Scheme.

Cllr Marsden said: ‘The trauma that asylum seekers have experienced, in fleeing fear and persecution in their home county, is unimaginable.

‘We’re proud to offer a place of sanctuary to these families, by giving our commitment to become a dispersal area. We also recognise the wealth of new skills and experience that refugees and asylum seekers bring to our communities.

‘As a Council we already have positive experiences of refugees settling in the county borough, having taken part in the UK Resettlement Scheme for a number of years.’

All costs of accommodating asylum seekers are met by central government and no timescales have been decided yet for families being dispersed to the Caerphilly county borough.

Clearsprings Ready Homes is the organisation responsible for sourcing properties and carrying out necessary checks regarding the suitability of the property and the area.

Clearsprings will provide and manage all support for families, including access to 24-hour support. There will be regular communication between council departments, including housing, education and social services, Clearsprings and external partners, such as health and police.

Regular meetings will be organised by the council with everyone providing support to the families.

Photo Credit – Caerphilly County Council

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