West Norfolk services for Ukrainian refugees ready by next week
Councillors unanimously supported a motion calling for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine at a meeting on Wednesday night.
The motion was supported in the chamber by all the councillors present, who expressed a shared outrage at the events unfolding in Ukraine and the impact on peoples in Ukraine and across eastern Europe.
The special meeting of the council heard that services to support refugees arriving in the borough will be up and running as soon as next week as the council and its partners pull together to help people escaping the war.
A range of specialist services will be available at the council’s head office at King’s Court, where an area will be devoted to ensuring people are comfortable and cared for, and can gain access to all the help they need. Additional services will be available at the library.
Stuart Dark, leader of the council said: “We can only imagine what war refugees arriving in the UK have gone through. We are putting this in place at our head office because that is where people will be able to access prompt help from us, Careline, Lily, DWP, housing services and local migrant charities, as well as interpreting services.
“Working across the public and charity sector we’re doing everything we can to make their arrival in King’s Lynn a positive experience. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that people know they have reached a safe and welcoming haven.”
Charles Joyce, leader of the Labour Group, said: “These are people who only want to live their lives free from fear and we welcome and support them into our west Norfolk community.
"The council and its partners are rightly pulling together to make sure people fleeing this illegal war get the help they need.
Terry Parish, leader of the group of independent councillors, said: “This war is a criminal act against a democratic nation, resulting in millions having to flee with only what they can carry.
“Actions taken by this council and its partners will help refugees arriving in west Norfolk to resettle and alleviate some of their suffering.”
Plans to implement services are moving apace. Services will start to operate from next week and will scale up as required when the level of demand becomes clearer. Further details will be released as they are confirmed.