Torridge and West Devon Lib Dems have called on local authorities to provide support structures to enable local families to offer accommodation and assistance to displaced refugee families from Ukraine.
At their Executive meeting last week, Liberal Democrats from across the constituency pledged their support for efforts to welcome families from Ukraine to our area and voted unanimously to request local authorities to facilitate this.
Ray Auvray, Chair of Torrington branch, said:
'Many of us have already made donations to charities and aid agencies, but this is not enough. We have heard from a number of people locally and local community and church groups of their desire to offer a home to these displaced people but there is no local network structure to support this. Local councils are ideally placed to take a lead.'
The Chair of Torridge and West Devon Lib Dems, Stephen Middleton, has written to Devon County Council and to West Devon and Torridge District Councils, urging them to convene a working group of councillors, officers, and representatives of community groups to assist local people wishing to offer humanitarian aid and sanctuary to Ukrainian refugee families, and to establish support structures speedily for this purpose. He has also urged them to mount an information campaign to inform Devon residents as to how they may best offer humanitarian help.
Mr Middleton said:
'Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats are shocked at the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the deaths and devastation caused by the indiscriminate aggression of the invading Russian armies. Devon has a proud record of supporting refugees and displaced persons after World War II and integrating them into our local communities. We now need to do likewise.'
Ray Auvray has invited anyone in the local area interested in setting up a support network for Ukrainian families moving to the area or local people offering accommodation to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Donations, charitable giving and other forms of help should be made direct to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and to existing charities.