Supporting Afghan refugees

I am sure many residents, like me, have been shocked and concerned about the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in Afghanistan. Setting aside whatever we may think about the events that led to the situation, the desperate scenes of people fleeing their home country are undeniably harrowing and are images that will stay with me.

Thousands of Afghan refugees have reached the UK and local Councils have a unique and vital role to play in helping them to resettle.

Central Bedfordshire Council was in discussions with the Home Office in the Summer and we were already helping to resettle families here prior to Kabul falling. We had absolutely no hesitation in helping and we are continuing to work closely with the Home Office to do more as Afghans leave their temporary accommodation arranged by the Home Office.

Resettlement is a long-term process and a whole range of council services are involved in ensuring these individuals and families have the support they need, this includes housing, children’s and adult social care, schools and educational services and support to access employment.

There is a big ask of local councils to provide this support. Whilst it is not something we shy away from I know from talking to residents that there are some concerns about how we will manage to provide the housing and other support that is needed. Government is providing councils with funding in recognition of the services we need to wrap around those who need our help. We are also working with our private landlords in the area to seek additional housing options so we can meet these needs of Afghans and anyone else in our area that needs our help.

Central Bedfordshire is a place that welcomes refugees, and we are ready to support Afghans in their time of need. I know that many of our residents want to help support these families too. You can read more about the best way to do this at this time on the Council website.

5 thoughts on “Supporting Afghan refugees

  1. All very well but what about the impact on our taxes and council tax increases. And of course whatever you can squeeze out of us under the guise of elderly care etc. We are in our seventies, saved all our lives and have never had a penny back! Oh yes that was our big mistake!

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  2. Central Bedfordshire is also a place where the ‘authority seek to promote an out of village well loved centre in favour of a community project inaccessible by pedestrians and outside the village boundary, supposedly supported by a free transit bus which does not actually run according to its own officials.
    Central Bedfordshire also plans to build thousands of houses which will absorb happy villages into the Luton urban sprawl with no benefit to the residents of either. Both these policies can only result in higher traffic on an unsuitable road network with consequent higher air pollution levels.
    To neglect the maintenance of a public facility in the interest of promoting a new house building project has been shown to be illegal in a neighbouring county! Central Beds ignore such responsibility.

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  3. The Afghan refugees certainly need our help, given how they supported us during the conflict. It is true that more housing is needed, but social housing should be prioritised together with smaller and less expensive houses for first time buyers. I think I am right in saying that only 20% is allocated to social housing which is ridiculous.

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  4. Charity begins at home. You must deal with the homeless sleepers on OUR streets – those who want to be helped, those who live in fear, and those desperate for a safe and warn place to live, but live in squalor in overcrowded, unsafe properties owned by the worst landlords. Also those who have been on council housing lists for years on end…..
    I feel desperately sorry for refugees fleeing from war torn countries and of course we must help, but there is not a bottomless pit of money. The government should be helping councils and I think they are. This should ensure council tax paying residents don’t end up footing the bill. There should be no queue jumping for council houses. Our own citizens with urgent needs should be the first priority. Some refugees are here for a better life and all the benefits that Britain offers. If they can offer skills which will benefit the country and don’t become a drain on our resources, that is well and good. We need doctors, nurses, lorry drivers, and a myriad of other professions.
    You need a quick fix – to build the 21st century equivalent of the pre fabricated homes we had after the war to provide hundreds of cost effective places for these folk to live…..It is better than living on the streets or in a crowded hotel room with lots of children. Everyone should be able to exist with dignity….

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    • I agree with your comment about prefabs. I lived in one as a child. It was well designed, with a fitted kitchen, living/dining room, 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a garden where my father could grow vegetables. It was adequate for a family of four with young children. But of course they were temporary, and I well remember a bucket in my bedroom to catch the drips. I think an alternative today would need to be permanent. The original prefabs went well pass their sell by date before being demolished and replaced. What is needed is more affordable and social housing, but of better quality and designed as well as the prefabs of the 1940s.

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