William Eichler 18 August 2021

Council chiefs ‘stand ready’ to support Afghan resettlement scheme

Council chiefs ‘stand ready’ to support Afghan resettlement scheme image

Local authority leaders have declared their readiness to work with the Government to help design a new scheme for resettling refugees from Afghanistan.

The Government has announced a new resettlement scheme to help 20,000 Afghan nationals take refuge in the UK in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.

The scheme will see 5,000 Afghans who are at risk due to the current crisis, resettled in its first year. Priority will be given to women and girls, and religious and other minorities.

Commenting on the scheme, home secretary Priti Patel said: ‘We will not abandon people who have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in terror of what might come next. The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will save lives.’

Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across England and Wales, said that local authorities across the country ‘stand ready’ to support the resettlement programme.

‘We are all saddened to see the tragic scenes from Afghanistan and our hearts go out to the Afghan people facing this humanitarian crisis. Councils have a proud history of supporting efforts to protect and support refugees and want to support the resettlement of those fleeing Afghanistan,’ he said.

‘They stand ready to work with government to design any new resettlement scheme, so it ensures new arrivals get the support they need to settle into their new communities and considers ongoing pressures from other existing schemes.’

Individual local authorities have also reacted swiftly to the Government’s announcement and declared their readiness to support refugees in their local areas.

Glasgow is currently providing a safe haven to 62 refugees fleeing Afghanistan and the city council said it stands ready to assist other people evacuated as part of the humanitarian effort.

Ashford Borough Council has also identified accommodation for three households but are looking to increase this to take between five and 10 families.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: ‘We are seeing a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our very eyes in Afghanistan. People there are in dire need of urgent assistance and Ashford is determined to do our bit to help.

‘We must open our hearts to these people and with the experience we have gained welcoming and integrating our Syrian friends into local communities, no-one in the UK is better placed to give these people a safe haven and a new start.’

Liverpool City Council has said that it is in the process of working with partners to identify suitable accommodation in the city, and also clarifying the terms of funding arrangements with the Government.

The leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council Cllr Kevin Guy has also said that they ‘stand ready’ to support Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The council highlighted the fact that it has excellent partnerships with local charities who can provide support to refugees.

A number of councils are also appealing to private landlords to come forward to help the resettlement effort.

Image: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Fair Trading Officer

Northumberland County Council
£14,587 - £16,399
Northumberland County Council provides a large and diverse range of services across one of the largest counties in England. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Communications Support Assistant

Northumberland County Council
£19,650
Our people are the heart of Northumberland, which is why we place such importance on ensuring staff are engaged, informed and feel valued. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Support Worker - Support at Home Service (South Cumbria)

Cumbria County Council
£25,927 - £26,446
The Support at Home Service provides both domiciliary and reablement services, as part of the wider Provider Services Team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Head of Service - Children in Care

Sandwell Children's Trust
£65,831 - £75,240
You will have strategic and overall responsibility for ensuring that assessments and plans for children in care and care leavers. Sandwell, West Midlands (Hybrid Working)
Recuriter: Sandwell Children's Trust

Performance Assistant -Focus Family Team

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 - £29,174
We are looking for an experienced, enthusiastic, and driven Performance Assistant within our Focus Family Team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.