WELCOMED TO STAY: Dudley Council will rehome 20 Afghan families
Up to twenty families from Afghanistan will be welcomed to stay in the Black Country indefinitely, as the council publicly commits to rehoming those who risked their lives for Britain.
Dudley council has given the green light for 20 families to come to the borough, with the first families expected to arrive over the summer.
The families are war veterans who served on the front line, risking their lives to protect British troops with interpretation and translation services.
They will have access to housing and services as part of the settlement, which is government funded.
The council already has a priority system running for British war veterans to access housing and accommodation, but housing bosses are keen to ensure the support given to the new families does not impact on anyone already on the waiting list.
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing and community services, said: “The sacrifice many of these people made in Afghanistan to help protect British troops is extremely moving, and, like local authorities across the country, of course we are happy to help.
“The government-funded scheme will mean they will be able to relocate from Afghanistan to our borough and we have set a maximum of 20 families to come here.
She added: “We will be able to access a range of private and social housing so there shouldn’t be any impact on local people already on the housing waiting list.
“We will be working with the families to make sure they have a home in the borough in the most sensible and fair way.
On Sunday, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and declared the “war is over”, bringing an end to the two-decade campaign from the US and allies to try and transform Afghanistan since the last Taliban rule.
Since that news broke, scenes of fraught panic and desperation have dominated the news agenda, with videos of people trying to grab hold of aeroplanes and running to board flights out of the country.
Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley North, felt “saddened” by the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, and said he will focus on “short term support” for those who need to be repatriated to Britain.
In a statement on Facebook, he said: “I am no foreign policy expert, but the last 72 hours cannot leave us with the smallest doubt about one thing: that the sudden withdrawal of peace keeping troops from the country is a catastrophic failure.
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