Harrogate council offers to rehouse ‘more than its quota’ of Afghan refugees

The leader of Harrogate council has said the borough stands ready to help house Afghan refugees who are fleeing the country following the Taliban takeover.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 3:33 pm
The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper.

Conservative councillor Richard Cooper said the refugees are “in need of and deserve our assistance” as he pledged his support to a new government scheme to welcome up to 20,000 Afghans over the next few years.

His pledge comes after the council offered resettlement to 19 Afghans in June under a similar scheme which targeted former translators and others who worked for the UK military during the two decades that it has been fighting in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, councillor Cooper said this was the “right, humane and just thing to do”.

He said: “Back in June, Harrogate Borough Council pledged to take its fair share of the quota of Afghan interpreters who were seeking relocation to this country.

“We not only did that – we pledged to take more than our quota and we have done so.

“The government will now be coming forward with a new scheme for relocating Afghan refugees and on behalf of the council I want to make that pledge again that we will not only take our quota that the government suggests, but we will take more.

“Harrogate is a welcoming, tolerant and diverse place.

“And these people are in need of our assistance and deserve our assistance.”

Jacob Webster , Local Democracy Reporting Service