Home Office yet to ask North Northamptonshire to provide accommodation for Afghan refugees

More than 100 refugees will be housed in West Northamptonshire, but North Northamptonshire has not yet been asked to provide temporary homes

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 12:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 12:56 pm
Afghans waiting at Kabul airport. Credit: Getty
Afghans waiting at Kabul airport. Credit: Getty

North Northamptonshire Council say they are yet to receive a Home Office request to provide temporary housing for Afghan refugees - as it's been revealed up to 140 people who have fled the Taliban will be housed in the west of the county.

The unitary authority for the north of Northamptonshire say they are ready and willing to play their part in helping the refugees from Afghanistan and are actively looking at how they can assist.

The Government has launched a resettlement scheme to allow people who helped allied forces during the 20-year conflict, including interpreters, cultural advisors and embassy staff, to move to the UK after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.

They have asked for assistance from local councils to help find accommodation for those desperate families whose lives could be in danger if they stay in Afghanistan, with many people already housed across the UK.

Today (Wednesday) West Northamptonshire Council leader Jonathan Nunn said they are expected to provide up to 140 people with initial accommodation and to put in place local care and support measures for them during their stay in Northamptonshire.

But North Northamptonshire Council has not to date received a request from the Home Office to support the accommodation of refugees on a temporary basis in the area.

A spokesman said they understand that factors such as the availability of temporary accommodation will be important considerations when these requests are made.

Council leader Jason Smithers said: “I believe that we owe a debt of gratitude to the refugees from Afghanistan, many of whom have put their lives in danger to help us. I think it is important that we fulfil our moral obligation to provide assistance where we are able to do so.

"We are working to understand more about the situation and what is required of councils so that we can best determine what we can do to help.”

Evacuation flights out of Afghanistan's Kabul airport are widely expected to end within days, with American president Joe Biden sticking to a deadline of August 31 to remove their troops.