HILLINGDON is joining other boroughs around the country in welcoming refugees from Afghanistan.

Like other councils, Hillingdon is working with the Government’s emergency Afghan resettlement scheme to see what help it can provide, while recognising the shortage of affordable large family homes in the borough.

As a gateway borough, close to Heathrow, Hillingdon already supports many asylum seekers (the second highest number in London) with social care, housing, education and other services.  

While the council is committed to helping refugees, it has to balance this with the need to fund existing services and support Hillingdon residents to achieve their housing needs.  

Council leader Ian Edwards said: “Hillingdon residents expect us to fulfil our humanitarian duty and assist refugees who are seeking safety in this country and we are keen to do this.

“As a port authority, we are supporting a high number of asylum seekers without sufficient funding. This, in turn, creates additional pressure on our finances, and we are asking the Government to plug the gap and encourage more local authorities to play their part.  

“We are working with the government to identify what more we can do to help with the resources, particularly the housing, available to us in Hillingdon.”

Hillingdon is awaiting further details on how the Home Office plans to support other Afghan refugees who may arrive in the future. 

Voluntary groupd have reported being overwhelmed with donations and are asking for no more to be sent. If you can help, visit www.rescue-uk.org or email strongercommunities@hillingdon.gov.uk.