Craven District Council to consider Afghanistan resettlement scheme

Councillors at Craven District Council will be asked to support the Government’s Afghan resettlement scheme.

Councils across the country are currently working together to accommodate Afghans who have fled the country in fear for their safety after the Taliban took control.

About 5,000 Afghans, many of which worked as interpreters for the British forces, are being welcomed to the UK over the next year in recognition of their bravery and support with a total of 20,000 expected over the next five years.

Craven is being asked to commit to resettling a maximum of 15 people across two or three households.

Those arriving in the UK under the resettlement scheme have been assessed as being ‘under serious threat to life’ and unlikely to ever return to their home country. North Yorkshire is expected to become home to 100 Afghan refugees through the resettlement scheme by the end of September.

Selby, Hambleton and Harrogate councils have already accepted 42 Afghans across eight households.

Next week councillors at Craven District Council (CDC) will be asked to vote to support the proposals.

There are no cost implications to CDC. A private landlord has offered the council a six-bed property in Skipton to house a number of Afghans taking part in the resettlement scheme and social housing may also be used.

The project is being managed by Migration Yorkshire, North Yorkshire County Council and the Home Office and all costs are being funded by the Government.

Leader of Craven District Council, Cllr Richard Foster, said: “Craven is committed to doing its bit to resettle refugees from Afghanistan.

“We are very grateful to the private landlord who has made the effort to come forward and offer a property and I’m hopeful it will be used in the near future.

“Alongside a roof over their heads, resettling refugees requires us to consider a great deal more, including health and social care, integration into the community and education, so it will be important to work closely with North Yorkshire County Council and other district partners and agencies that have the expertise and resources to help.”

The Council intends to be proactive in fostering good relations between the refugees and the existing community and will help them integrate with assistance from existing Afghan communities in Bradford.

The Council’s Policy Committee is recommended to support the Afghan Resettlement and Assistance Policy Scheme (ARAP) at its meeting at 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 14.

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