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Local refugee support group backs County Council’s request for help in finding accommodation for refugees

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Ottery Refugee Response have sent me Devon County Council’s appeal for help in finding accommodation:

Devon is playing its part in meeting the UK government’s pledge to bring 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to the UK by 2020. We are also part of the government’s national programme to look after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Resettling Syrian families

A life away from war. Landlords - how you can help

Local councils working together across Devon have pledged to house over 40 Syrian families. Since June 2016, families have arrived in Devon at the rate of just over one each month on average. Families continue to arrive when housing is ready for them. To meet our pledges, we need landlords who will rent properties to councils to house refugee families. The UK government’s resettlement programme provides funding to Councils for housing and other resettlement costs such as English classes, interpreting, cultural orientation and help into work.

Looking after unaccompanied children

In summer 2016, the government set up a ‘national transfer scheme’ so that councils across the country could share the responsibility for looking after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. These children may arrive in the UK independently or under government programmes. Devon joined the national transfer scheme from the start. We are already looking after children placed with us under that scheme and we have indicated to the government that we are prepared to receive children over the next few years in line with that commitment.

In autumn 2016, Devon hosted a temporary Home Office centre to look after children brought into the UK to be reunited with family members when the Calais ‘Jungle’ was closed.

Sign up to keep in touch with what Devon is doing and how you can help >

Contact email address: refugeesupport@devon.gov.uk

County Council asks Highways England to bring forward and implement proposals for the A35 at Wilmington ‘as soon as practicable’

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IMG_0755​I addressed Devon County Council’s Cabinet yesterday, and they gave their support to Wilmington’s campaign ​for crossings and traffic calming measures on the A35 through the village.
The Leader, Cllr John Hart, was very supportive and said that the Council had already written to HE, but not received a reply, and they would now write again.
The resolution was ‘that the County Council engages as a consultee with Highways England on their proposals for the A35 route corridor, and requests that the proposals are brought forward and implemented as soon as practicable.’
 
You can watch the webcast  (Wilmington discussion starts at 1.51).

I tell Health Scrutiny why Seaton and Honiton need to keep services in our hospitals – Exmouth Tory tells me I’m ‘abusing the procedure’

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When Claire Wright put ‘community hospitals’ as an item on the Devon Health Scrutiny Committee today, I went along and argued why Seaton and Honiton hospitals need to stay open with all the services and clinics currently provided – and more. Then Conservative Councillor Richard Scott from Exmouth – where the hospital is safe because it’s kept its beds – accused me of ‘abusing the procedure’. Claire and deputy chair Nick Way (Lib Dem) both defended me. The Tories then block-voted against Claire’s attempt to get the Committee to protect ALL community hospitals.

More Refill stickers available for businesses willing to help people fill up their water bottles

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RefillThese have gone up in many shops and cafes in Seaton. I have a new batch of stickers, so please contact me if you’d like one – cllrmartinshaw@gmail.com

I’m proposing that Devon County Council supports the creation of a Dorset and East Devon National Park

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I’m putting forward a motion to the next meeting in July for the Council to support a new park, which would include the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and prepare a case for submission to the review of national parks recently announced by the Government.