Date Published: 24 March 2022
Rutland County Councillors have unanimously approved a Motion that pledges the authority’s support for Ukraine and its people, while expressing serious concern at the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by Russian aggression.
The Notice of Motion was presented by Council Leader Oliver Hemsley and jointly seconded by the opposition group Leaders Councillors Marc Oxley and Councillor Gale Waller. Full Council on Monday 21 March was the first Full Council Meeting with an opportunity for Motions to be considered since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
As well as expressing support for Rutland residents who are from Ukraine or have close ties with the country, the Motion condemns the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, while making it clear that the Council stands ready to provide support for those displaced and affected by the war. Rutland County Council will also fly the Ukrainian flag outside its offices in Oakham.
On Monday 14 March, it was confirmed that the government had launched the new ‘Homes for Ukraine’ sponsorship scheme that offers a route to safety for those fleeing the war. Through this scheme, Rutland residents can put themselves forward to provide accommodation to Ukrainian families in need. Rutland County Council is committed to support Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors and is encouraging people to register their interest online if they can help: homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk.
For Rutland residents who are unable to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, there are other ways to support Ukraine. You can donate through trusted charities and aid organisations, such as the Disasters Emergency Committee: donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal.
“The situation in Ukraine has left millions of lives in ruin. People fleeing the country are in desperate need of lifesaving aid. The UK is honouring its long-standing tradition of helping people beset by war and conflict. We are very to be a safe place for those who need it, and we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. “We are overwhelmed by the show of support that has come from local people in Rutland, who can now provide shelter for refugees through the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We, in turn, will be on hand to support them.”Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
Phase One of the new scheme will allow sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian person or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property – supported by local councils. Individual sponsors will be asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for a minimum stay of six months and will receive funding of £350 per month.
Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this new scheme will then be granted three years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services. The government has indicated that the UK will welcome as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors who come forward.
Further details about how to support families affected by the war in Ukrainian can be found on the national GOV.UK website: www.gov.uk/government/news/ukraine-what-you-can-do-to-help.