Ukraine Russia: Opposition councillors call for Barnsley to “provide a safe place to people in their time of need”

Opposition councillors will call for Barnsley Council to declare their support for the people of Ukraine, and “provide a safe place to people in their time of need”.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 5:09 pm

A motion put forward by Liberal Democrat councillor David Greenhough will call for BMBC to “take a stand in complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they bravely resist this invasion” at the next full council meeting on March 31.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees predicts that around ten million people have now fled their home in Ukraine, as the Russian invasion continues.

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Opposition councillors will call for Barnsley Council to declare their support for the people of Ukraine

Around 3.6 million have fled to neighbouring countries, and approximately 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside Ukraine.

The Home Office said 12,400 visas have been issued to Ukrainians under a family scheme as of March 21, but the government has faced calls to issue emergency visas or lift requirements for those fleeing the conflict.

The motion to Barnsley Council’s Labour administration acknowledges that immigration and asylum matters are “for the national government”, but hopes to take the stance that Barnsley “will always willingly and openly take our fair share of people in need.”

The motion, which is to be seconded by Councillor Chris Wray, calls on the council to: “Note that for many years Barnsley has been twinned with the City of Horlivka in Ukraine and we have a well-established Ukrainian community in our region, and believe we must stand with them and against the bullying tactics of Putin’s Russian State and the military aggression that Ukraine is facing.

“Believes that Barnsley is a town of sanctuary, and we should be proud of that fact.

“We can and should provide a safe place to people in their time of need and that, though ultimately immigration and asylum matters are for the national government, we will always willingly and openly take our fair share of people in need.”

Barnsley Council’s leader, Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and offered his sympathy to the resident’s of Barnsley’s Ukranian town town, Horlivka, during a cabinet meeting in February.

“It’s the innocent men, women and children who are not involved in armed forces or armed conflict, who will be the biggest victims.

“So I send, if it is the right words, my good wishes to those people.”