- Greens warn councils who want to help refugees are being prevented by lack of government funds
- Catherine Rowett: “Councils and their constituents all over the region are ready to step up for Ukrainian refugees, just like they were for Afghan refugees. But the biggest barrier is this Conservative government”
The Eastern Green Party and Green councillors across the East are calling on the government to provide local authorities with the funds necessary to be able to provide Ukrainian refugees with proper support.
The Green Party has warned that local councils and their constituents who want to help those fleeing Russia’s war in Ukraine are being prevented from doing so by the Government’s failure to adequately fund support services.
Green Party councillors in every corner of the East have said many people in the region want the council to provide refuge for Ukrainians fleeing the invasion but unless the Government provides funding for affordable housing and resettlement of refugees then those seeking asylum will be forced to live in unacceptable conditions.
The Government is offering to take in 200,000 people fleeing Ukraine , but the Greens warn that there could be a repeat of the catastrophic handling of the Afghan refugee crisis last year. 
The Greens have repeatedly warned over the last year that refugees and asylum seekers, including children, are being accommodated in overcrowded and unsuitable hotels due to the lack of appropriate housing.  They have also warned that the lack of funding for fostering and children’s services is leaving children without the support they need to recover from trauma.
The Green Party is calling on the Government to provide the funding that is needed for local councils to resettle refugees in secure accommodation where they can restart their lives.
Catherine Rowett said, “Councils and their constituents all over the region are ready to step up for Ukrainian refugees, just like they were for Afghan refugees. But the biggest barrier is this Conservative government.
“We need to match the generosity of our European neighbours by waiving visa requirements for refugees fleeing war and we need money unlocked to provide decent accommodation and adequately fund support services. Councils with support can provide housing by repurposing empty homes, partnering with private landlords and building affordable new homes.”
Benali Hamdache, the national Green Party’s migration and refugee support spokesperson, said:
“This Conservative government simply does not understand the urgency or the scale of what is needed to save lives and keep people protected now. Councils across the country are doing all they can to support those in need, including those who are now fleeing the horrific events in Ukraine.
“But they have been stretched to breaking point by years of cuts and unless the government ensures that councils have the resources to help then refugees will be left stranded and without support.”
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