Statement of support for Ukraine refugees
Statement on behalf of Uttlesford District Council sent to the Home Secretary from Councillor Petrina Lees, Councillor Melvin Caton, Councillor Vere Isham and Councillor Richard Pavitt.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP Home Secretary
Dear Home Secretary
Support for Ukraine refugees
We are writing to urge the Government to substantially and urgently increase the support available to refugees from Ukraine in light of the appalling violence accompanying the Russian invasion.
Immigration is a matter for national government rather than local government, but I would like to add our voice to the wide chorus of support for extending the welcome beyond the two rather sparse immigration schemes, which have resulted in so few approved entries to the UK so far. These are a drop in the ocean compared to the scale of this humanitarian crisis, and are simply not sufficient.
More practically, we should like to make representations about how we as a local authority can provide practical support for resettlement. Although a small authority area of just 80,000 people, we are keen to take our fair share of a much more generous and appropriate national provision overall. As demonstrated from previous refugee crises, clearly the most effective and appropriate approach is through a nationally-organised resettlement scheme, run by the Government and delivered on the ground across the country by all local councils. It would be an administrative nonsense for individual authorities to seek to establish their own schemes, so much as taking nominations from a central point - and this would also help each authority take its fair share and spread the load.
We in Uttlesford stand ready to play our part, both as the local authority and as a population, and we hope very much that the Government will step up and put in place such a national resettlement scheme at the earliest opportunity.
Councillor Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council
Councillor Melvin Caton, Liberal Democrat Group Leader
Councillor Vere Isham, Green Party Group Leader
Councillor Richard Pavitt, Uttlesford Independents Group Leader
14 March 2022