Gwynedd leaders write to Boris Johnson over ‘inadequate and inept response’ over Ukraine refugees
The leaders of Gwynedd Council’s main parties have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to criticise the “inadequate and inept response” to the refugee crisis.
The letter is signed by Cllr. Dyfrig Siencyn, the leader of Gwynedd Council, Cllr Glyn Daniels, the Independent Group Leader, and Cllr Angela Russell, the Llais Gwynedd Group Leader.
They said that they had expressed their willingness to provide sanctuary for Ukrainian refugees as soon as possible but been prevented by “bureaucratic barriers”.
“We write to you to express our deep concern as to the inadequate and inept response of UK Government to the disastrous refugee crisis consequent to the war in Ukraine,” they said.
“It seems that your policy has been to create bureaucratic barriers to prevent refugees entering this country when we would expect the opposite.
“The European Union has allowed entry to refugees to their countries without a visa, and all the necessary identification process has been undertaken on arrival into their territory.
“We have heard statements and claims from yourselves that have been patently unfounded, such as the opening of an office in Lille to process applications from refugees. It saddens us that we will be viewed by the world as an uncaring mean spirited country.”
Yesterday the UK Government revealed that more than 100,000 people have offered to house Ukrainian refugees within 24 hours of the government scheme launching.
Offering monthly payments of £350 to hosts, the scheme was devised after days of criticism over the government’s handling of the humanitarian crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Michael Gove said it will allow Ukrainians with no family links to come to the UK with “unrestricted access” to benefits, employment and healthcare.
The levelling-up secretary added there would be “no limit” to the number of Ukrainians who can benefit from the scheme.
But Cllr. Dyfrig Siencyn and the other signatories of the letter to Boris Johnson said that their readiness to contribute had not been matched with action by the UK Government.
“We in Gwynedd have expressed our willingness to provide sanctuary for refugees as soon as we can,” they said. “We have accommodation available now, but we have had no information as to the intentions of UK Government.
“The latest proposals announced today seem to be a step in the right direction but still it is difficult for those who have nothing, to enter this country. We urge you to replicate the arrangements that exist in Ireland.
“On arrival, refugees are welcomed to comfortable processing centres where they have access to basic essentials, and children have access to a safe play area. This is the kind of welcome we should provide here.
“We are anxious that this County be as welcoming as they and are dismayed at the inaction and lack of compassion shown by UK Government.
“We look forward to receiving the first refugees to our County and urge you to remove all bureaucratic hurdles to those who seek sanctuary from this terrible war.”
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