There was a county-wide meeting yesterday morning with reps from all the Councils and key services within the County where the emerging issues following the release of further guidance on Friday was discussed.

OCC will be informed when a visa is granted to a sponsor living in the County and WODC are putting in place the systems and resources to process the agreed funding to refugees and sponsors as well as carry out the accommodation checks. WODC will also be working closely with colleagues to facilitate links with voluntary groups and existing Ukrainian support arrangements to help families settle into their new homes as well as looking at the current arrangements with GARAS with a view to extending this to provide wraparound care to Ukrainian families (they currently support both Syrian and Afghan families).

In regards to education and health a ‘welcome letter’ is being planned to provide Sponsors and Refugees with advice and guidance in regards to GP registration, school provision and accessing other support.

A regular county-wide meeting has been set up where we will be co-ordinating actions to ensure consistency and avoid duplication of effort. A similar group has been establish in WODC to manage resources and work with local support groups.

As soon as we have more guidance to help inform residents and support groups we will publish this on the Council website.

Just to note Tackley and Charlbury are setting up a parish initiative to accommodate and support refugees.

If this is something you want to do, let me know and I can put you in contact with the relevant contacts.

Andy Graham
Oxfordshire County Councillor