Around 200 people who have fled Afghanistan are currently being housed in two hotels in Hertsmere.

Hertsmere Borough Council confirmed people from the Middle Eastern country have been placed in hotels in the borough temporarily under a programme by the Home Office.

But the council says it is unable to commit to providing any permanent accommodation for Afghans in Hertsmere, following the Taliban takeover at the weekend.

The council says this is because it does not own housing stock and because it has several hundred people already on its housing register.

A Hertsmere Borough Council spokesperson said: "Some families have needed to be accommodated on a temporary basis whilst they wait for their new home to become available. 

"The Home Office has decided the best solution is to use hotels during this time. Those hotels are spread across the country and two hotels in our borough are being used for this scheme, with in the region of 200 individuals having been accommodated there under this scheme. We are proactively liaising with the Home Office to provide what assistance we can.   

"The use of the hotels is a temporary measure, but at this time we cannot say how long they will be required. As accommodation becomes available these families will move to their new homes and over time the number staying in the hotels will gradually reduce."

So far, three Hertfordshire councils have confirmed arrangements are in place to help families from Afghanistan resettle in the county.

It is under a scheme that is separate to the announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today that the UK will resettle 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan over the next five years.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was announced in December last year ahead of the withdrawal of British Forces from the country to ensure those who assisted the army and face risk to life would be able to apply for resettlement. 

The scheme launched on April 1, but has come into sharp focus in the past week after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan.

In Hertfordshire, councils have been determining whether they are able to take part in either scheme, and so far, around a third of councils have committed to rehoming Afghan families as part of ARAP.

Three Rivers, Dacorum and Welwyn Hatfield councils have all confirmed participation in the scheme, with the first family arriving last week.

Dacorum Borough Council confirmed it will be resettling two families from Afghanistan this September, while Three Rivers District Council will also be resettling two families with the first arriving in the district last week.

However, some councils are not taking part in the scheme currently – although councils have not ruled out reviewing its stance.

Councils have cited problems with access to its own housing stock and the price of privately rented accommodation as barriers to taking part.

Spokespeople for Watford Borough Council and St Albans District Council say they are waiting for further details from the Government about the resettlement scheme before making any commitments. 

Broxbourne Borough Council said it cannot provide accommodation as it does not own any housing stock while North Hertfordshire District Council says it has "existing house pressures".

Stevenage Borough Council and East Hertfordshire District Council did not respond at the time of publication.