Herefordshire households are being asked to take in refugees from the war in Ukraine.

An emergency motion unanimously passed by Herefordshire councillors asked the county’s residents to “be willing to welcome any refugees that they can into their homes”.

Councillors also called on officials to “put in place whatever facilities as may be reasonably expected to receive Ukrainian refugees”, to “ensure that schooling and health services are alerted” and “to inform the Government that Herefordshire will not be found wanting in our welcome”.

The move follows the Government’s announcement last week of a “humanitarian visa route” for Ukrainians to come to the UK, who could be sponsored by local authorities, communities or individuals.

“They will be able to work, and the sponsor would provide housing and integration support,” its announcement said.

Coun Nigel Shaw, who put forward the motion, said: “I want this council and our residents to be ready and waiting when the opportunity comes to welcome Ukrainian refugees into our county.”

He praised the efforts made by Herefordians already, saying “I have seen and heard just how enthusiastic and resolute our residents have been in collecting aid for Ukraine to meet the desperate immediate needs of refugees.

“I am sure they will be as enthusiastic in welcoming those displaced by this conflagration. We need to coordinate this, and roll up our sleeves.”

Coun Jim Kenyon said: “I’ve got spare rooms, I’ll have people come to stay with me,” and added that Herefordshire had a proud tradition of accepting refugees going back to the First World War.

Coun Elissa Swinglehurst said also: “Many of us will feel very deeply that we want to do something.

“I will certainly step up and do my part, and will apply to be part of this scheme as a private sponsor.”

Coun Kevin Tillett added: “Offers have already been made of accommodation in homes, in temporary accommodation and in holiday lets.”

Coun Shaw said afterwards that while few details have yet emerged of what might be expected of the county, offers of accommodation should be for at least three months, "so they don't have to keep moving around".

Many of the refugees are likely to be women with children and older people, he added.