A RHYL councillor has praised the commitment of the local authority towards housing refugees in Denbighshire.

Town and county councillor Brian Blakeley has commended Denbighshire County Council (DCC) for providing sanctuary to four families seeking refuge from war-torn Syria since 2016 and for its plans to take in more people this month.

A council spokesman said: “Since the Syrian refugee project started in 2016, Denbighshire County Council have housed four families across the county. Moving into the new year, we will have another two families by the end of January, with a commitment for a total of 25 families by 2020. These families are spread county-wide in properties provided by private landlords.

“We are actively looking for more properties to enable us to achieve our commitment for the numbers of Syrian refugees in Denbighshire and we would encourage any private landlords who would like to work with us on the scheme to get in touch with the council to register their interest.”

Cllr Brian Blakeley responded: “All of us see what’s going on in places like Syria, where every year it seems to get worse and worse – particularly when there are kids involved who have no water and are starving. It’s diabolical.”

“Of course we should rehome children over here. They have to be placed somewhere. I honestly feel like the country isn’t doing enough, so it’s fantastic that Denbighshire have gone out of their way to fulfil our obligations.”

“It shows the rest of the world that we are quite prepared to welcome people and their children, and do our bit.”

At Rhyl’s Wellspring Christian Centre, however, the Rev Mike Bettaney, who will visit Beirut in Lebanon in early February to deliver £1,000 to a Syrian pastor working in a refugee camp, says the Government should give more support to refugees settled here.

Mr Bettaney said: “We have, as a country, been very good at invading countries all over the world in the past, so I believe there is a responsibility to take in refugees when the need is genuine like in Syria.

“Our church been working with a Syrian family living in Rhyl, which includes three children of primary school age.

“The father lost his haulage business to Isis and he desperately wants set up a similar business to work and contribute to our economy, but he can’t take the requisite licensing course because it’s in English, which he has very little of.

“You can have the best will in the world but if the town and county councils don’t receive funding from the Government, short of housing who we can, there is a lot more that we need to do to fulfill our obligation.”