East Devon District Council has joined the show of support for the people of Ukraine and their families, following the Russian invasion.
person Philippa Davies www.exmouthjournal.co.uk
The county and district councils have condemned Russia’s actions and pledged to work together to support Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK.
They have also agreed to give particular support to families in Devon whose relatives in Ukraine are fleeing the conflict.
East Devon District Council Chair Councillor Ian Thomas said: “On behalf of East Devon District Council, I want to express horror at the unprovoked invasion and heinous treatment of the sovereign nation of Ukraine and its people by Russia.
“These are uniquely challenging circumstances. Whilst movement of displaced refugees from the war zone is at an early stage, it is clear that an enormous level of support is needed.
“I’m confident that East Devon officers and members will step up to the plate in response to this humanitarian crisis, taking an active role with our local government partners in support of wider refugee needs.
“In the interim, we have joined with many across the globe in a statement of solidarity and support for Ukraine, by flying the nation’s flag at both Blackdown House in Honiton and Exmouth Town Hall.
“It is unbelievable and heart-breaking to see this tragedy unfolding before us. We can only hope that sanity, humanity and kindness will soon be restored.”
East Devon District Council Leader Councillor Paul Arnott added: “The constructive and practical engagement of all the Devon districts, working under the Team Devon flag with the County, is absolutely essential. The challenges this crisis will inevitably provide need direct political solutions both nationally and locally, and East Devon, as part of Team Devon, will make sure that our response meets the expectations of our many concerned residents.”
Individually, councils have also taken steps to cut Russian links, such as through contracts for energy provision. Any few remaining investments within the Devon Pension Fund that are linked to Russian assets are being sold off quickly.
Devon councils say they have long worked together, alongside health and voluntary sector partners and local communities, to provide safe sanctuary and resettlement for refugees, most recently Syrian families and those fleeing conflict in Afghanistan.