Central government has written to all local authority Chief Executives and Leaders seeking support and participation in resettlement of locally employed staff (LES) who have supported UK armed forces in Afghanistan.
Government grants of around £325,000 will be made available to the council.
The measure is noted under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (ARAP).
As NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the government is now seeking to accelerate relocations into UK local authority areas, within a planning envelope of 600 families nationwide, with arrivals commencing September 2021.
Participating local authorities will be supported with a 12-month grant funding package to enable delivery of required outputs.
Local authorities will be required to provide integration support for the first 12 months, including sourcing of accommodation, reception at accommodation, welcome briefing, GP/DWP/school registrations, cash support until benefits are in payment, and advice and assistance around employment, welfare, housing, health, utilities, and education.
It is indicated that Nottingham City Council will be requested to resettle up to six families (approximately 24 individuals), attracting a maximum estimated income of £325,435.80.
Nottingham City Council also undertakes partnerships with four Nottinghamshire district authorities (Gedling, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe, and Newark & Sherwood) to provide direct support (administration, finance, contract management and monitoring, etc) to their participation in refugee resettlement, retaining 8% of district grant monies in consideration of mangement fees — the Community Partnership service would recommend replication of this approach for ARAP (assuming a maximum of six families per authority), attracting additional income.
Delivery would be undertaken by a combination of internal Community Partnerships services in partnership with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, and based heavily upon established and embedded resettlement practices.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF) is a key partner of Nottingham City Council in provision of services to vulnerable migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, and is the lead organisation in a successful consortium tender for NCC Communities of Identity funding.