A COUNCILLOR has expressed his disappointment that the Vale has not followed the suit of other "trail blazing" authorities in rehousing Syrian refugees.

Plaid Cymru councillor Ian Johnson had hoped that the Vale would have been able to begin helping Syrian refugees into new homes in time for Christmas.

As well as calling for Wales to become a Nation of Sanctuary, the Barry town centre councillor recently spoke at the National Assembly to celebrate International Human Rights Day, where he said that it was a duty to provide help those, particularly children and women, who were fleeing from wars across the world.

Plaid Cymru councillor Ian Johnson said: “Across Barry and the Vale, children and parents have been carrying out nativity plays where we were reminded that there was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary, and think those inn-keepers cold-hearted, but we are doing the same here.

“The Syrian conflict has been running for four years now, and a government scheme to help people resettle in place for almost two years, but we in the Vale Council have not yet provided shelter to those escaping from the war.

“I have been asking in full council about our actions to assist these people for the past six months, and so I was disappointed to be told that we don’t want to be a trail-blazing council, unlike other Welsh councils who have shown their support for people displaced by war, such as Plaid Cymru-led Ceredigion Council."

Councillor Bronwen Brooks, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said that the Vale council are working towards amking the necessary arrangements in order to begin housing refugees and that "to rush these preparations would not benefit anybody".

She said: "The Vale of Glamorgan Council has made a commitment to be part of the UK Government’s scheme to resettle Syrian refugees.

"The Council is currently working closely with the Home Office, the City of Cardiff Council, Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board, the Muslim Council for Wales, Churches Together and the South Wales Police to make the necessary arrangements to settle refugees.

"We are making progress, however, the needs of refugees are complex and we must make sure that any families that are resettled in the Vale are done so within the correct setting and with access to the support that they will require.

"This work requires a considered approach and to rush these preparations would not benefit anybody.”