Midlothian to welcome Syrian refugees

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey. Photo: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell.

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey. Photo: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell.

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Around 40 Syrian refugees could be resettled in Midlothian over the next five years.

Councillors at yesterdays’ full council meeting heard what progress officials have been making in accommodating refugees locally and what other means of support could be extended to them during this humanitarian crisis.

It is expected the first refugees could arrive in the New Year.

No decision has been made on areas of Midlothian but the council is confident it can offer housing to the refugees without impacting on council housing allocations.

Negotiations are continuing with central government on funding for the scheme.

Council Leader Councillor Catherine Johnstone (SNP) said: “We have a moral duty to help those in need who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their communities and often their loved ones too.”