First refugees in North Lanarkshire expected next week

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 15:33 on 18 November 2015


North Lanarkshire Council says the families will be housed in Airdrie and Coatbridge.

REFUGEES from the war-torn country of Syria will be housed in the communities of Airdrie and Coatbridge, when they arrive in Scotland, next week.

North Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that twelve families fleeing from Syria will be housed in Airdrie and Coatbridge, when they arrive next Tuesday (24th November).

Funding for the resettlement programme comes from the UK Government's International Aid Budget.

The authority’s announcement comes after the first refugees to be settled in Scotland arrived at Glasgow International Airport yesterday (17th November). 

Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf hailed yesterday’s arrival as a “proud day for Scotland”, with yesterday’s arrivals now living in various council areas, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Renfrewshire. 

Mr Yousaf said yesterday: “I would like to extend the warmest of welcomes on behalf of the people of Scotland to the Syrian refugees who have arrived in Glasgow today, and wish them all the best as they are supported to start their new lives here.

“These people have fled terror and tyranny and are some of the most vulnerable among those affected by conflict in Syria. They have arrived directly from refugee camps and we have been working closely with the Home Office who have robust and thorough security screening processes in place. They will now travel to a number of communities across Scotland.

“The practical offers of support from ordinary people across Scotland who want to help alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable people caught up in this humanitarian emergency has been overwhelming.

"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all the partners that have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to make the necessary arrangements for the arrivals. We will continue to have an important role to play in helping these refugees settle into their new lives in Scotland,” he added.

As yesterday’s first arrivals get settled in Scotland, the Scottish and UK Governments are preparing for a second group of refugees – who will arrive next Tuesday. 

North Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that they will house around 12 families from next week’s arrivals, though the authority says that more people will be welcomed in the years ahead.

Over the coming years some 120 people will be settled in North Lanarkshire, the council says – a figure which represents the authority’s proportional share of the Scottish Government’s commitment to accept 2,000 refugees.

Labour Councillor, Pat O'Rourke is heading the council’s planning group.

Commenting on the arrangements for next week’s arrival, the Motherwell North Councillor said: "The Scottish Government has given a commitment to receive 2,000 refugees over the coming years and North Lanarkshire's proportionate share of this is 120 people.

"The council is working with colleagues in NHS Lanarkshire, Strathclyde Police, Department of Work and Pensions, Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire and other agencies to plan and prepare for the arrival of the Syrian families, many of whom have been victims of violence and torture. 

"These organisations will continue to work together to provide ongoing support to the families and work is also underway to liaise with local communities to ensure they are kept updated.

"We are sure these people, who have suffered unimaginable traumas in their lives, will be given a warm welcome to Scotland,” the Councillor added. 

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