Local council pledges support for Ukrainian refugees
- Credit: Tom Chapman
A council has pledged to support refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and condemned Russia's invasion.
Speaking at a full council meeting last week at East Suffolk Council, all councillors showed their support for Ukraine and indignation for Russia.
Council chairman Keith Robinson led the discussion and said: “This council utterly condemns Vladimir Putin’s senseless and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.
“The mass casualties caused to the civilian population and the ever-increasing humanitarian crisis is at odds with any civilized behaviour and we can only admire the way the Ukrainian people are fighting this unwarranted aggression.
"We also recognise that the actions of Putin do not reflect the position of Russian individuals living in East Suffolk.
“We stand ready, along with other district councils and the county council, the voluntary sector, the Suffolk Resilience Forum, Suffolk Refugee Support and our MPs, to provide support to any refugees in East Suffolk in any way the government requests that is within our power.”
Beccles councillor Caroline Topping added: “It is difficult for us to express what we feel as it’s so inconsequential when compared to the enormity of what is happening to Ukrainian people.
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“I met, by accident, this morning a lady in a shop in Beccles.
"Neither of us had intended to go into that shop, but we did and engaged in conversation.
"She has lived in Beccles since February and told me that when she drove into Beccles a couple of weeks ago and saw the Ukrainian flag flying from the bell tower she burst into tears, pulled over and took a photo of the flag on her mobile phone.
"She then sent the photo to her Ukrainian father and her family in Ukraine to show the support being shown in our town.
“We would like to thank everybody in our communities who have done something in support of Ukraine and wish to reiterate our solidarity with all Ukrainians now and in the difficult time ahead.”
Local authorities across Suffolk are working closely together to ensure they can deliver an effective, co-ordinated response to government requirements to support Ukrainians seeking refuge in Suffolk.
The chairman also encouraged anyone wishing to donate money or supplies to use an accredited organisation, such as the Red Cross, the UN Refugee Agency or the Disasters Emergency Appeal Fund.