Glasgow pledges to find way to accept more Afghan refugees

Leader Susan Aitken has asked the council’s chief executive 'to explore every avenue' to take more families.

Glasgow pledges to find way to accept more Afghan refugees iStock

Glasgow has pledged to find a way to accept more refugees from Afghanistan. 

Leader Susan Aitken has asked the council’s chief executive Annemarie O’Donnell “to explore every avenue” to take more families.

Councillor Aitken put forward a motion on the matter at full council last week, which was approved with amendments.

The Taliban have gained control over Afghanistan – leaving people who worked with the UK military terrified  over reprisals. A mission has been under way to help them flee to Britain in response to the crisis. 

Glasgow has so far agreed to receive 64 refugees under the UK Government Afghan Resettlement Scheme.

Glasgow City Councillors decided to try and help additional numbers at a full council meeting last week.  

Councillor Aitken, said: “It is devastating to think that after 20 years and all the sacrifices that have been made; the loss of life, life changing injuries among members of the armed forces and the unspeakable suffering of the Afghan people themselves – this is where we have ended up.”

She said  plans for the Afghan Resettlement Scheme lack clarity and the funding is “woefully inadequate.”

Glasgow officials  are working with social landlords to find suitable accommodation to house more refugees according to the motion put forward by Councillor Aitken. 

The SNP politician said: “Glasgow stands ready. We are very good at this.”

The motion said: “Council therefore calls on the UK Government to go further and faster in its response both in the provision of aid and in supporting the evacuation and safe resettlement of Afghan nationals, ensuring that further immediate resources are made available to support local authorities to significantly increase the numbers of Afghan refugees they are able to accommodate. Council instructs the chief executive to seek further resources from the UK Government to support Glasgow’s resettlement work.”

The council motion also pledged to support opposition to  the recently unveiled  UK Government Nationality and Borders Bill, which has faced criticism.

The legislation would mean people who knowingly arrive in the UK without permission would be committing a criminal offence.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter Sarah Hilley.