Council will pay £10,000 a year to help refugees

Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton, the headquarters of Arun District Council
Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton, the headquarters of Arun District Council

Arun District Council has committed financially to a county-wide scheme to help refugees in West Sussex.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, councillors agreed to give £10,000 a year to help pay for staff in a county-wide team to deal with issues concerning immigration, asylum-seekers and refugees.

Chief executive Nigel Lynn said Arun had been ‘trying to work with the county council and other districts across West Sussex’ because it is ‘a complex issue to resolve’.

Councillor Paul Dendle supported the scheme.

He said: “I think we have all been contacted by residents who were concerned about the plight of refugees and felt we should be doing something, but we could not say we had done anything tangible.

“We are a small district council and this gives us something tangible to tell residents.”

Mr Dendle acknowledged that the topic of helping asylum seekers and refugees was ‘controversial’ at the moment.

But he added: “Some won’t agree with us doing it, but I think it is the least we can do and I am glad to support it.”

At a meeting on December 9 last year, council leaders received a report from Nathan Elvery, chief executive of West Sussex County Council about the scheme.

The report asked local authorities to support the Government in its national response to ‘the increasing pressures of immigration’.

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