Bucks Council area among local authorities with fewest resettled refugees

Home office data shows 290 council groups in the UK homed more refugees in the past seven years.

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:12 am

Home Office data shows Bucks is among the council areas with the fewest resettled refugees.

As the UK prepares to rehome thousands of of vulnerable Afghan refugees over the coming years, figures show Bucks resettled only nine refugees in the past seven years.

The UK Government is organising plans to help the vulnerable, after the Taliban's rapid takeover Afghanistan.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Home Office

The nine refugees resettled in Bucks were all set up in Bucks homes in a resettlement scheme for vulnerable people in Syria.

Through a Government-led Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) around 20,000 Syrian refugees were resettled in the UK between 2014 to 2021.

Bucks ranks joint 291st out of 332 local authority areas in the UK when it comes to housing refugees during this time period.

The low number of refugees brought to a Conservative run area such as Bucks, falls in line with a trend identified nationally.

Bucks is one of 23 Conservative-held areas which has resettled fewer than 10 refugees since 2014. Only five Labour councils have taken fewer than 10.

A report from National World shows Labour-held council areas are taking on a greater share of refugees than Conservative-ran areas.

Labour-led council areas have resettled 7,375 refugees since 2014, a rate of 39 refugees resettled per 100,000 people, Conservative-held areas have taken in 3,333, a rate of 21 per 100,000.

In total, 22,494 refugees have been resettled under VPRS, the scheme allows refugees to start a new life in the UK. People who seek asylum in the UK after arrival, aren't included in these figures.

Further National World analysis shows Labour areas have taken in 33% of the total while just 15% went to areas under Tory rule. The bulk (10,750, or 48%) were homed in councils where there was no overall political control.

Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesperson for UN refugee agency UNHCR UK said: “It’s been really heartening to see the groundswell of support across UK society for the Afghans in light of recent events.”

“We would encourage local authorities right across the country to help as best they can with an urgent global problem by extending a welcome to refugees, in support of government efforts, by offering them the best chance possible to rebuild their lives in a new community.”

The Home Office was contacted for a comment by National World, but has not responded yet at the time of writing.