Wiltshire Council Leader Richard Clewer has thanked residents for their kind offers of accommodation and support in response to the current crisis in Afghanistan.
People across the county have offered help to those leaving Afghanistan due to the current situation there.
Currently Conservative led Wiltshire Council is making plans to welcome a number of families to Wiltshire as part of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which started in April and was in place before recent events in Afghanistan made the situation more urgent. This scheme offers relocation or other assistance to families who will settle in Wiltshire.
The Prime Minister announced at the Afghanistan debate in Parliament last Wednesday (18 August) a new Afghan resettlement scheme is being launched (in addition to the current running ARAP scheme) and the UK is committed to take 20,000 with 5,000 in the first year. He also said that they are committed to taking 5,000 on ARAP but are looking to take 10,000.
Wiltshire Council has said it will help more Afghan refugees settle in Wiltshire once further details emerge of this new resettlement scheme.
Conservative Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Military Civilian Integration said:
I want to thank our residents who have come forward to ask how they can support people leaving Afghanistan. Wiltshire has always opened its doors to those in need and it is heartening to see once again that people are prepared to help. We will be providing more details in due course on how people can provide support.
The government has given the official statement on numbers coming to the UK and so we are preparing for more to settle in Wiltshire and will be liaising with the government on this. I have been talking to our MPs and the Ministry of Defence about how we can potentially use empty MOD housing and we're looking at other options as well should they be necessary.
We were one of the first local authorities to help with the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme and we are ready to play our part once again.
People who would like to offer support can email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.