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Hertsmere pledges continued support for Ukrainian refugees

Hertsmere pledges continued support for Ukrainian refugees Unanimous agreement has been given by Hertsmere Borough Council to a cross-party motion strongly condemning ‘Putin’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine’ and resolving to support Ukrainian people who have been displaced into the borough’s communities. 

The motion, which was presented at a full council meeting on Wednesday 27 April, expressed ‘full solidarity with the people of Ukraine’ and highlighted Hertsmere’s proud record as a place of sanctuary and support for those displaced by conflict, including those from Afghanistan and Syria in recent years. 

Before the motion was heard at the meeting, members heard from Ukrainian refugee Alla Karimova who’s currently residing in a local hotel with other Ukrainian women and children.  She spoke of how she had fled her home country and of the support she had received since arriving in Hertsmere.  Her words were warmly received in the council chamber and a standing ovation followed.

Measures agreed include immediately making £50,000 available for the council to support Ukrainian refugees both directly and in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council.  Funds from the council’s reserves and contingency budgets were also pledged to help speed up suitability checks regarding offers of accommodation, along with measures to actively promote through the council’s communications channels the help that the council and other partners can provide. 

Cllr Paul Morris, Conservative councillor for Bushey Heath, who proposed the motion, commented: “We’ve been truly appalled by this shocking display of aggression by Putin and the war crimes being perpetrated on men, women and children by Russian forces.  Through this motion we were able to set out our commitment as a council to how we will offer our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.” 

Cllr Jeremy Newmark, Labour councillor for Borehamwood Cowley Hill and Leader of the Labour Group in Hertsmere, seconded the motion and added: “Hertsmere is open to refugees.  Once again, as we did for those fleeing oppression from Syria and Afghanistan, local people are providing generous support and temporary homes for Ukrainian refugees.   Council staff and partners are working hard to support these efforts.  Putin may capture Ukrainian land, roads and bridges but he will never capture the hearts and minds of Ukraine’s people.  As Putin resorts to even more desperate and barbaric crimes, we in Hertsmere stand as allies of Ukraine.”

To read the motion in full, view item 13 of the council meeting agenda: