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26th Jun, 2022

Row over Worcestershire's response to Ukraine crisis as opposition extraordinary meeting calls rebuffed

Rob George 15th Mar, 2022

A WAR of words has broken out over Worcestershire’s response to the Ukraine conflict.

Every opposition councillor at County Hall backed a call for an extraordinary meeting of the council to discuss the crisis.

The request was rebuffed amid anger from leading opposition politicians such as Coun Richard Udall who accused the Conservatives of having no humanity of empathy.

However, council leader Coun Simon Geraghty hit back and said the support Worcestershire could offer would be discussed at cabinet next Thursday (March 24).

The opposition calls would have asked Worcestershire County Council to write to the Government to call on them to replicate the EU’s position on welcoming Ukranian refuges for three years with no visa.

A boycott of Russian products and services would have also formed part of the extraordinary meeting.

Green councillor Coun Matt Jenkins said: “I am extremely disappointed that my request for an extraordinary meeting about Ukraine has been rejected.

“Thanks to the councillors who supported this call. We will continue to pressure the council to do more.”

In response, Coun Geraghty said: “The situation in Ukraine has shocked us all locally, nationally and internationally and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected.

“The overwhelming support our county’s residents have offered to the people of Ukraine has been nothing short of amazing. Worcestershire is a friendly and welcoming county to all and especially to those who find themselves in difficulty through no fault of their own.

“Given the situation in Ukraine, last week I sought and unanimously gained agreement from all Worcestershire District Leaders to support the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Local Sponsorship Scheme.

“We have pledged to do all we can to support displaced families and individuals. We will use our knowledge and experience in working with and resettling Syrian and Afghan families to support those fleeing Ukraine.

“We are currently awaiting more details from the Home Office on the support Worcestershire can give to both schemes and as soon as this is available, we will communicate this and work with our partners to mobilise our support across the county.”

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