Council to offer Kenilworth as 'safe haven' for refugees fleeing Ukraine
By James Smith
26th Feb 2022 | Local News
Kenilworth Town Council has committed to offering the town as a "safe haven" for any potential refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, 137 people have been killed and over 300 wounded since the start of Russia's invasion.
The US Government is warning that as many as 5 million people could be forced to move because of the conflict.
Inspired by a plea from a Ukrainian citizen on Radio 5 Live, Cllr Andrew Milton said KTC should do "whatever it can" to help.
"The person's message was 'do whatever you can, ask people to help, and send help'," said Cllr Milton at last night's full council meeting.
"I think it is right for us to reflect on that and to think about what we can do.
"I hope that this council would be prepared to write to the President of Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador and our local MP to express our solidarity with Ukraine and our hopes for peace in the region."
Other councillors then suggested that further offers of refuge should be made to anybody fleeing the country – the council made a similar offer last year for people fleeing from Afghanistan.
"I think we should also note that we are happy to take any refugees as we did with Afghanistan," added Cllr Alan Chalmers.
"It is likely that there will be large numbers of refugees and we should open the town as a possible safe haven for them to settle."
The motion was given unanimous approval with Cllr James Kennedy adding: "I think this is incredibly important.
"As many of you know I spent four years living in Mr Putin's Russia and I often travelled to Ukraine for work so I have a very strong connection with the region.
"I wholeheartedly endorse what Cllr Milton has proposed."
A number of national charities have also called on the nation to support any refugees coming from Eastern Europe.
In a letter to the Times, charities including Save the Children, Amnesty International and the Refugee Council urged the UK to help "handle a sudden increase in the number of people forced to flee".
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