Lewes District Council has passed a motion calling on the government to provide much greater support and certainty for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
At a meeting of Full Council last night (July 18) councillors called on the government to increase the current level of homeless prevention grant and provide urgent clarification on what will happen to refugees when the agreed six-month period of their stay ends.
Councillor Christine Brett, who proposed the motion, said:
“I am delighted that this motion has been supported and hope the government will respond directly and positively to it.
“With no sign of the Russian war on Ukraine ending anytime soon, many refugees won’t be able to return home and we all need to know what support the government will provide.
“The refugees and residents who have opened their homes need certainty on what the coming months hold for them.”
The council also want the government to continue to honour the promise of sanctuary given to Ukrainians, urgently seek a second tranche of placement hosts in the towns where many are already living and children are being educated, increase the homeless prevention grant to support refugees looking to move into privately rented accommodation and increase the Local Housing Allowance to better reflect the costs of rents within Lewes district.
Councillor Brett added:
“We have all been impressed by the number of local residents who came forward in Lewes District to help when the Russians invaded Ukraine, but we now have host families and refugees facing a period of limbo and extreme anxiety where no one really knows what the future holds for them. The government must set out their longer terms plans and do so urgently.”