People in Kirklees offer their homes to Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban

The council said the message is clear that people from Afghanistan are welcome

Ministry of Defence handout photo of a civilian charter flight arriving at a Midlands airport from Kabul. The flight carried eligible Afghans under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy Programme and British Nationals who were based in Afghanistan (Image: PA Media)

Afghans fleeing their homeland following the Taliban takeover have been guaranteed refuge in Kirklees – with some local people offering up rooms in their own homes.

Cash has also flooded into local charities supporting asylum seekers and refugees as the borough steps up to do its bit. Calderdale council previously said they were welcoming refugees too.

The message to people leaving Afghanistan is clear: you are welcome here and there is safety and support ready for you.

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Speaking to a meeting of full council (Sept 8) senior Labour councillor Carole Pattison said Kirklees had a 21-year history of assisting asylum seekers via the Asylum Seeker Dispersal programme.

She said: “We’re seeing such a positive response from local people throughout Kirklees, from messages of support to people offering up rooms in their own homes [and] landlords with empty properties contacting us to help.

“The generosity of Kirklees people never ceases to amaze me. They
are once again stepping up to support people in desperate need.”

In an emotive speech she said the district was already helping people who worked alongside the armed forces in Afghanistan and who were moved out because their lives were deemed to be at serious risk.

But as part of the Afghan Resettlement Programme, which will bring 20,000 people into the UK in response to the current emergency, she said Kirklees Council – and the borough as a whole – would be playing its part by providing housing.

Details on numbers have not yet been confirmed by the Home Office but Clr Pattison said the authority was “proud” to support the wider response.

She said: “It’s right that we can offer those at risk a place of safety until they find something more permanent.

“[At present] we don’t know how many people will come here or where they will be staying.”

Due to the emergency situation refugees could be given temporary accommodation in hotels until a permanent arrangement is arranged. That decision has been sanctioned by the Home Office.

Proposed sites will be assessed for suitability, including access to health services, transport and local amenities as well as the condition of the accommodation. If judged unsuitable the council will raise the matter with the Home Office.

Clr Pattison said: “The current situation is of great concern, and my thoughts are with all those impacted by it.








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