REVEALED: Over 700 visas issued to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war to come to Northamptonshire - but how many actually are living in the county?

Both North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council have revealed how many Ukrainians are actually living in the county

By Logan MacLeod
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 8:57 am

Around 700 visas have been issued to Ukrainian refugees to seek safety in Northamptonshire - but how many are actually living in the county?

According to the latest government data, as of Tuesday, May 3, 423 visas have been issued by central government for Ukrainian refugees to come and live in West Northamptonshire Council's (WNC) constituency.

However, WNC has said that only 105 are currently known to be living in West Northants.

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The Guildhall

A WNC spokesman said: “As of Tuesday, May 10, of the 423 visas issued to Ukrainian refugees sponsored by west Northamptonshire households since the scheme started, 105 are currently in the area.

"The numbers change daily and are dependent on sponsor households informing us that their guests have arrived.”

The same data set says 283 visas have been issued by central government for refugees to live in North Northamptonshire Council's (NNC) constituency.

However, NNC told this newspaper that only 174 are currently living in that area.

An NNC spokesman said: "The council helps administer the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This is a national scheme that has been devised to provide suitable accommodation to those fleeing the conflict who do not have family ties in the UK.

“We are aware of 174 arrivals of Ukrainian visitors in the North Northamptonshire area.”

These visas have been issued as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which launched in mid-March and allows individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety.

The government has said that, at the time of writing (May 10), 95,500 visas have been issued but only 37,400 Ukrainians are currently living in the UK.

A government spokesman said: “Thanks to the generosity of the public who have offered their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war and through our Ukraine Family Scheme, nearly 95,500 visas have been granted with almost 37,400 Ukrainians arriving safely in the UK.

“We are processing thousands of visas a day – this shows the changes we made to streamline the service are working and we’ll continue to build on this success so we can speed up the process even further."

This newspaper has spoken to two families in the county who have had issues with the scheme.

Ron and Mary Tulley, from Bugbrooke, said last month (April) they had suspicions that the government is issuing visas for an entire Ukrainian family apart from one child, which in effect stops the family travelling to the UK.

Mary said: "I'm concerned this is a ploy now by this government to offer visas so they can announce they have got thousands issued and yet very few refugees in a position to travel.

"If this is proven that it has been policy to leave the youngest child without a visa, then that's absolutely criminal."

Mick and Sam Parker, from Earls Barton, also had similar issues to the Tulleys.

The Parkers told this newspaper in April: "There are thousands like us that are opening our homes and experiencing delays. Most of us are waiting four to five weeks, meanwhile, some of the refugees are actually dying, or they can't wait any longer and have to go back into a warzone. It is horrific."

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