SCOTTISH Borders Council is set to agree that up to 10 refugee families are welcomed to the region in 2025.

Between August 2020 and February this year, the Borders received nine Syrian families under a United Kingdom resettlement scheme, Safe and Legal Routes.

Three Afghan families did arrive but have subsequently moved to be near family members in other parts of the UK.

Additionally, there are currently 44 Ukraine households in hotel accommodation and a further 36 with host families.

The Borders has also been receiving unaccompanied asylum seeking children and is expecting to receive adults through a UK-wide national transfer scheme.

These people generally originate from the small boat arrivals and are awaiting asylum decisions.

Now the Home Office via CoSLA is seeking pledges from councils on numbers of individuals/households they are willing to accept in 2025 through Safe and Legal Routes. This will enable a cap to be set on the pledges.

When members of Scottish Borders Council (SBC) meet on Thursday, March 28, they will be recommended that a figure of up to 10 household arrivals are agreed – subject to Home Office funding.

A report to the committee, from Jenni Craig, SBC’s director of resilient communities, says the pledges given by councils are entirely voluntary.

She adds: “In addition to normal state benefits, the Home Office provides funding for the duration refugees are registered on the scheme, currently varying between 36 and 60 months.

“Principally this is to support integration and language development. Costs can vary depending upon the composition of families and their individual needs. The children of refugees born in the United Kingdom have not qualified for this funding.

“Asylum seekers do not have the same funding arrangements and rights as refugees. They are limited in the services they can access, and remain the responsibility of the Home Office.

“Should an asylum decision go in their favour the eligibility changes and support would likely move to local authority services.”