Boris Johnson: Addressing Funding for Northampton Town Center, Afghan Refugee Resettlement and the Harry Dunn Affair


Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a visit to Northampton today (January 6) to thank volunteers at a local vaccination center and the police for their efforts.

During his visit to the Moulton Park vaccination center, he called out anti-vaccine campaigners for putting “gibberish” on social media and said they were “completely wrong” in an interview with Sky News. He then went to Weston Favell Police Station and then abandoned by the Chronicle & Echo office with Northampton North MP Michael Ellis and South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom to answer questions about downtown funding, the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Program (ACRS) and getting justice for Harry Dunn.

Northampton town center has earmarked funding from the Future High Streets Fund – will there likely be more support for our main street?

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Boris Johnson visits the Chronicle & Echo office during his visit to Northampton. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

Boris Johnson said: “I think Northampton is doing brilliantly in a lot of ways. I know the city center has been successful in getting money from the Towns Fund.

“We will continue to make sure that we support regeneration in the city center in every way possible.”

Northampton received just over £ 8.4million in the fund’s ‘second round’ in 2020 to finance the market square renovation.

Boris Johnson said Northampton “is doing brilliantly in a lot of ways”. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

The city further received £ 25million from the Towns Fund grant in 2021, which will be spent on a range of projects, including the redevelopment of the old Marks and Spencer and BHS buildings, Four Waterside, a new arts center on Guildhall Road and an extension of 78 Derngate.

Northampton attractions have also benefited from the Culture Recovery Fund, including Delapre Abbey, the Royal & Derngate Theater and the Picturedrome.

Andrea Leadsom added: “Certainly in South Northants and across our county, businesses have really welcomed staff and worker leave, but the support to the hospitality industry was absolutely crucial, really helped many of them survive. “

The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Program (ACRS)

The Home Office announced today (January 6) that the UK has officially opened the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Program (ACRS) and the first Afghan family has been granted indefinite leave to stay under This program.

The program will provide up to 20,000 Afghan women, children and others most at risk a safe and legal way to resettle in the UK.

West Northamptonshire hosted around 320 refugees in county hotels in September 2021.

This journal asked the Prime Minister how the government plans to move refugees to permanent accommodation and what that would look like for Northamptonshire.

Boris Johnson said: “I think we are making a commitment to resettle more here in this country – people to whom we are in debt of honor because of the help they have given us during this long time that we we are engaged in Afghanistan and it is only fair that we are doing that.

“I think we also need to recognize the pressure that this puts on our local authorities, the pressures this puts on our housing and we need to address it as quickly as possible. We need to place these families in long term housing, we need to. get them to live here normally with their families, earn and contribute to society and move them forward.

“Vicky Atkins – the responsible minister is working hard to make this happen because I know it’s a good thing to be a country that attracts people and, you know, we have a long and proud tradition welcoming people fleeing terrible situations. Afghanistan is clearly a very difficult situation. “

Anne Sacoolas, 42, now in the United States, was charged in December 2019 after the fatal collision, which killed Harry Dunn, 19, on August 27, 2019.

Since the incident, Harry’s family have been fighting for justice to be done for Sacoolas to face his charges after claiming diplomatic immunity, which meant she could not be prosecuted.

After a battle that has lasted for more than two years, Sacoolas will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 18, 2022.

Boris Johnson wanted to make a statement regarding securing justice for Harry. He said: “I think we are making progress. All I can say is the UK government, the Foreign Secretary, the Attorney General, everyone is working really hard to get justice for Harry Dunn. and his family.

“I don’t want to raise false hopes or anticipate developments but, you know, we’ve started to see some movement. We’ll keep pushing really hard.”


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