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Essex Council calls for refugee aid to be fully funded

Politics / Wed 21st Oct 2015 at 02:19pm

SERVICES required to meet the commitment made to support refugees should be fully funded, Essex County Council leader David Finch has said.

Speaking at a meeting of Full Council, Cllr Finch reiterated the county’s commitment to supporting the refugee crisis, but warned that Government needs to ensure that long term funding is provided.

Cllr Finch said: “The whole country has been moved by the images we have seen in the media. The scale and nature of this crisis meant we needed to act, and in Essex we are doing so.

“We are working with partners from across public, faith and voluntary organisations to ensure we can effectively and efficiently support the refugees that come to our county.

“It is important to remember however that this is not simply about providing refuge, these individuals and families will require ongoing support and services, and ultimately we need to ensure there is adequate funding in place.”

The Government is currently set to provide funding for the first year and will not cover the full costs of service provision.

Cllr Finch added: “The Government has indicated that funding for future years will be provided in the forthcoming comprehensive spending review, however it is important that it covers the full costs incurred. We will continue to lobby for that, working with the Local Government Association and our colleague authorities.

“I want to assure the people of Essex that no services will be affected, and council tax won’t increase, as a result of doing our bit to help the refugees, but it is important that we avoid an additional financial burden at a time of ongoing tough financial challenges in local government.”

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