EAST Lothian Council's leader has lobbied the Prime Minister to allow the county to bring in refugees from the Syrian crisis in its own way.

Councillor Willie Innes has raised concerns about the methods David Cameron plans to use to introduce families into different parts of the country.

And he has written to Mr Cameron urging him to allow East Lothian to use its "tried and tested" model which has helped refugees who have come to the county in past crises, settle into their new communities.

Mr Innes revealed his appeal to the council's cabinet meeting on Tuesday saying the model which Mr Cameron proposed to use for integrating the refugees had been changed from the one East Lothian used, for example, during the Bosnian crisis, when the county took in refugees.

He said: "I felt that the model used had proven to be very successful and I should write to the Prime Minister asking him to allow us to integrate refugees into the county in the way we believe is best."

Councillor Innes told the Courier the county has, in the past, set up a 24 hour reception centre for the refugees where they would stay when the first arrived in the county and be given the additional support they might need, before being allocated housing.

Mr Cameron's current proposal would mean the council would be required to put families straight into a house.

Councillor Innes said: "The reception centre gives the families access to support, for health, language and a range of issues. It is also a chance for them to create bonds with other refugee families which can help them when they move into the wider communities.

"We have found this makes the introduction to East Lothian much easier for them and it has worked well in the past.

"We don't believe dropping them straight into a house is the best way forward."

Councillor Innes' appeal to Mr Cameron was supported by fellow councillors.

John McMillan, cabinet spokesman for economic development, said: "I have been highly impressed with the good will expressed across the county and believe we can do something for the refugees in the East Lothian way."

During the cabinet meeting councillors approved funding of £14,500 for East Lothian Calaid, which it was told has grown to a bigger group known as East Lothian Aid For Refugees.

The voluntary group asked for financial help to cope with the overwhelming amount of donations coming forward from people across the county.

It told the council while it had attracted some modest funding and was confident of meeting everyday costs through fundraising, they faced early challenges of meeting some of their costs.

A report by the council's head of communities Tom Shearer said the local authority could contribute under its advance wellbeing policies.

He said: "A significant number of East Lothian residents are involved with the intiative which as a consequence adds to their personal development in the voluntary effort and contributing to growing our communities."

Councillor Michael Veitch said: "The repsonse of the people of Eastl Lothian has been hugely heartening in this crisis."