Powys towns could welcome Syrian Refugees next spring as part of an All-Wales response to the refugee crisis, the county council has confirmed.

The council is committed to welcoming refugees as part of the second wave to be received in Wales as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme – that all councils in Wales have signed up to.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, Councillor Darren Mayor said; “The council and its partners, which include Powys Teaching Health Board, Dyfed Powys Police, the DWP, Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations and housing associations, met recently to discuss the county’s response to the crisis.

“We have identified Ystradgynlais and Newtown as communities that are well placed to receive Syrian refugees because of the availability of family housing and capacity in local schools.

“The first families, who are currently living in refugee camps in areas surrounding Syria, are expected to arrive in Ystradgynlais before the end of March 2016. The families will be prioritised by the UNHCR, screened by the Home Office and housed in available family sized social housing owned and managed by either the council or a housing association partner.

“The support already shown by Powys residents for the refugees is very heartening and we will seek to co-ordinate the offers of support made by groups and members of the public in the coming weeks.

“It is important to note that the costs of accommodating and supporting families in the first 12 months of their stay will be funded entirely by the Home Office, utilising funds from the Foreign Aid budget,” he added.