York united in calls for UK to welcome Ukrainian refugees

Lib Dem councillors have joined calls to for UK to follow the EU and urgently begin coordinating a humanitarian response, including a simple, fast scheme to settle Ukrainian refugees in the UK.


Councillors have expressed their support for creating a safe refuge for those fleeing Ukraine by cancelling bureaucratic obstacles in acquiring visas and necessary documentation.


York has been united in showing its solidarity with Ukraine, with the city’s walls and Mansion House lit in blue and yellow since the start of the invasion. The Ukrainian flag is set to be raised at the Mansion House later today (1st March).



Councillor Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities commented:

“Our country has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution. We must not turn our backs on Ukrainians in their hour of need.

“The weekend spat between senior Tory and Labour politicians over the status of Ukrainian refugees as well as the Immigration Minister Kevin Foster’s now deleted tweet in which he suggested that those fleeing for their lives might like to come and pick fruit in Britain was appalling and unbecoming of this country.

“We must stand with Ukraine – not just with words but with actions. The Government’s humanitarian response has been incredibly limited and will not see those fleeing this disaster receive the support they desperately need.

“As well as offering support to the Ukrainian community already established here, the application of visa rules should reflect the gravity of current events, creating a straightforward humanitarian scheme with direct support given to councils who will be leading on this work. It’s time for the Home Office to waive visa requirements.

“I’m pleased in York we are united in our calls and ambition to support and welcome Ukrainians fleeing this horrible war. York is willing to provide support and council officers are working with partners to coordinate local efforts and offers of help, we will be able to share more information on this soon.”


  • Efforts to help Ukrainian residents locally, coordinate humanitarian support and offers of refuge is currently being organised and will be communicated by City of York Council soon. This include working alongside Migration Yorkshire with all councils in our region. Migration Yorkshire is a local authority-led partnership provides strategic leadership and local support across the Yorkshire and Humber region working with national, regional and local partners Migration Yorkshire manages the regional Afghan Resettlement Programme- migrationyorkshire.org.uk


  • The Refugee Council works to transform the lives of those who are seeking safety in Britain. For 70 years, we have directly supported and empowered refugees in Britain to lead safe, dignified and fulfilling lives. For more information go to refugeecouncil.org.uk


  • The Council has been receiving many offers of support over the last few months, which are greatly appreciated. They will be communicating with residents and businesses to provide information on how best to help our effort locally. As with York’s support for the Afghan settlement schemes, it may be that housing becomes a priority - landlords or any residents with available accommodation are urged to email [email protected].

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