DENBIGHSHIRE County Council (DCC) has pledged to support 10 refugee families find suitable residence in the county.

In September, it was announced that DCC would do its bit to help those who have fled crisis in Afghanistan.

Denbighshire County Council members agreed to extend its role in the UK Government's Afghan Relocation Assistance Policy (ARAP) to provide support for a total of five refugee families.

The scheme offers relocation to current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan who may be at risk of reprisals from the Taliban due to their assistance of British forces.

Through its Global Resettlement Scheme, DCC has now committed to helping 10 families.

At a County Council meeting held virtually on September 7, councillor Paul Penlington asked: "Following the UK withdrawal from Afghanistan can you tell us how many of the subsequent individual refugees we are definitely taking in Denbighshire and when will they arrive?”

In response, councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Wellbeing and Independence, said: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by recent tragic events in Afghanistan including all those living here, veterans, interpreters and other refugees concerned about family members back home.

"We have all watched in horror as events over the last few months have unfolded in Afghanistan causing so much immense uncertainty for its people.

"I can confirm that Cabinet members discussed this situation regarding refugees from Afghanistan and have agreed that Denbighshire should increase our current commitments through the Global Resettlement Scheme to ten families.

"This will enable us to offer housing and support to five Afghan families at this time, although this could well be extended if the situation and the scheme continues past the first year. This is in addition to the existing commitment to support five families per year under the existing Syrian and Universal Refugee Programme agreed a few years ago."

One Afghan family has already been accepted and settled in Denbighshire over the last month.

Accommodation is currently being sourced across the county, initially in the private rented sector in line with the current refugee programme.

DCC say that, whilst they welcome offers of accommodation, it will not always be possible to make use of them due to the makeup of the individual families.

The Home Office has announced a one year funding programme for the Afghanistan scheme to enable Local Authorities to provide support for education and employment.

In addition, they have indicated an ongoing commitment to support housing costs. The funding is similar to that received by DCC for the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Scheme, which it has used to successfully support 22 families over the past five years into suitable housing and education with three individuals now in work and one undertaking their HGV licence.

Cllr Feeley added: "Cabinet members are pleased to be supporting Afghan families in line with the desire for Wales to be seen as a nation of sanctuary to ensure the families can integrate within the Welsh communities from day one of arrival.

"We will do everything we can to put in place appropriate housing and a warm welcome so that our new neighbours will become important parts of our community as many have done before.

"Given the housing situation, this will, indeed, be a difficult task but one we have every intention of fulfilling."