Calls to ‘show compassion’ and waive visas for Ukrainians
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
The UK Government should “show compassion” and waive visas for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, councillors have said.
In a full council meeting on Wednesday 16 March Caerphilly County Borough councillors backed a motion committing to supporting Ukrainian refugees.
The UK Government has faced criticism over its handling of the crisis. Since March 15, refugees with a passport no longer have to attend a visa application centre in person and can complete the process online.
But Caerphilly councillors are calling on the UK Government to go further.
The motion states that the council “condemns the unprovoked and unacceptable military attack against Ukraine by the Russian Federation”.
It adds that the council welcomes the Welsh Government’s commitment to accept refugees from Ukraine and commits to accepting and supporting refugees within the borough.
At the full council meeting, Cllr Kevin Etheridge – leader of the council’s independent group – asked how many refugees the council would be taking in.
Council leader Cllr Philippa Marsden responded: “This is a fast-moving situation that is changing daily. We don’t know the numbers, but we will follow protocol.”
According to the United Nations, more three million people have now fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, many of which have moved to neighbouring countries such as Poland.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he wants Wales to become a “super sponsor” for Ukrainian refugees, with an initial intake of 1,000 refugees.
No further details have been announced.
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