Council Assembly strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and expresses our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
- Notes that over 1 million Ukrainians have been forced to leave the country fleeing the conflict, and that those people who have remained in the country are facing a humanitarian crisis.
- Stands in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people against Putin’s illegal invasion, their friends and relatives here in Southwark, as well as Russian citizens who are bravely protesting against the war despite the serious risk to their own lives and safety.
- Notes Southwark’s commitment to being a borough of sanctuary, and that the council has a proud record of supporting refugees fleeing from Afghanistan, Syria and many other conflicts, helping them to settle in the borough.
- Council Assembly thanks Southwark residents and organisations who have already made generous donations to support Ukrainian refugees.
Council Assembly also notes that there is much more the government can and should do, including:
- A humanitarian response to the refugee crisis by opening more routes for Ukrainian nationals to come to the UK, equivalent to those already offered by other European countries.
- Working with local authorities to adequately resource and plan for the potential resettlement of people from Ukraine in order to provide crucial services for refugees including access to housing, employment, education, social care and mental health support.
- Continuing to send crucial aid to Ukraine.
- Making sure that oligarchs in the UK who are linked to the Putin regime have their assets seized before they have the opportunity to sell them.
Council Assembly therefore calls on the cabinet to:
- Support Ukrainian refugees, working in collaboration with the local voluntary and community sector as part of the council’s pledge as a borough of sanctuary for those fleeing conflict.
- Lobby the government to do more to open safe routes for refugees fleeing Ukraine to come to the UK, and to provide resources for councils to support refugees
- Use the council’s channels to promote information and resources to support Ukrainian residents and anyone impacted by the conflict, and signpost how residents can help with the effort.