‘140 refugees from Afghanistan will be in the county by Friday’ council says as Northamptonshire hotel opens its doors
'It is now our turn to do everything we can to support them so they can create new lives that will greatly contribute to our society'
More than one hundred refugees from Afghanistan will be in the county by the end of the week, according to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC).
Last week, a spokesman confirmed the council had secured funding from a Home Office resettlement scheme to provide 140 refugees with emergency accommodation while their needs are assessed.
Yesterday Chronicle & Echo revealed that a county hotel will be opening its doors to the refugees.
The hotel, which this newspaper has chosen not to identify for safety reasons, will be at full capacity with housing refugees, according to the council.
Online bookings are currently closed for members of the public until next year.
When WNC announced the plans last week, Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of the council, said: “These families have supported our forces in often dangerous and challenging situations and have been forced to flee their home country, leaving their homes and livelihoods at very short notice with little other than the clothes they are wearing.
“It is now our turn to do everything we can to support them, as arrangements are made to resettle them into the UK so they can create new lives that will greatly contribute to our society.
“In the days ahead we will be involving and working closely with local community and faith groups in this process and it will become clearer as to how our council and local communities are able to support these families to help give them the best start possible.
"We will share how this can be done most effectively once we have fully assessed the options and best way forward.”
The Home Office has also confirmed that the hotel will act as only temporary accommodation as the local authorities work to find appropriate accommodation.
A spokesperson added: “The UK has a proud history of protecting people in life-threatening situations and we are determined to help as many Afghans as possible through the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme.
“The Home Office and the Ministry of Housing, Community and and Local Government (MHCLG) are working closely with local authorities across the UK to match the thousands of individuals currently in hotels, including our brave interpreters and their families, into accommodation.
“Those individuals have to remain in these hotels until the local authorities offer them appropriate accommodation.”
The Chronicle & Echo has published this article to inform readers and members of the public about what is being done in the county to help the international crisis.
It is imperative to do so and we will continue to report on updates on the situation and any links to our county.
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We are saddened by the fact we have to include this editor's note but our previous experiences have shown it is necessary to do so.