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Welsh Conservative leader has concerns over ‘preparedness’ in welcoming refugees from Ukraine

13 Mar 2022 3 minute read
The Senedd. Picture by Senedd Cymru. Inset: Andrew RT Davies.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has written to the First Minister with “concerns over preparedness” in welcoming refugees from Ukraine.

Andrew RT Davies MS for South Wales Central has warned Mark Drakeford that if Wales does not “adequately prepare” for the arrival of those fleeing from the war in Ukraine, then the refugees and the people of Wales will be ‘let down’.

In the letter Mr Davies said: “Whilst I am supportive of the work you have been undertaking to ensure Wales steps up and plays its full role in welcoming refugees, I remain concerned that there have not been sufficient preparations to ensure we have adequate resources in place to absorb the increased demand our public services will face.

“We owe it to these people to provide them with sufficient healthcare, housing and education. I would like to request an update on what additional resources you have secured and allocated to meet this increased demand.

“I would also like to request an update on what number of refugees you believe Wales can accept currently.

“If we do not adequately prepare to properly support our new friends, we will not only be letting them down, but the people of Wales as well.”

In a letter to the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, First ministers Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon have said that Wales and Scotland were willing to become “super sponsors” for Ukrainian refugees.

They stated that they were concerned at plans to match refugees with individual sponsors before being allowed into the UK would make the process “slow and cumbersome”, which is why they are proposing that the two governments “act as initial ‘super sponsors’ to allow large numbers to come to our respective nations quickly.”

In the letter to Mr Gove, both first ministers said it was “neither reasonable nor morally acceptable to expect people fleeing war to go through complex bureaucratic processes in order to reach safety within the UK”.

In the first wave, the first ministers said Scotland would expect to take in 3000 and Wales 1000. Under the plans more would be welcomed in later waves.

Nation of sanctuary

Mr Drakeford told BBC Wales’ Politics Wales programme it was “really impossible at this stage” to say exactly how many refugees could come to Wales, but that he wants Wales to be a “nation of sanctuary.”

He said: “We know that most people fleeing the awful scenes in Ukraine will want to stay as close as they can to the homes that they have fled from.”

At the Welsh Labour conference in Llandudno, Mr Drakeford confirmed that the Welsh Government is consulting with councils regarding how much help they could give and that discussions are also being held with the private accommodation sector and universities about what housing could be provided.

He said: “Very rapidly, a great deal of practical work is going on. So that we have the best picture we can have of what the potential sources of accommodation could be, and then to be able to offer the best match between the needs of people who will come to Wales and our ability to meet those needs.”

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10 months ago

How big is his farm?

10 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

So, how many can you accommodate ? How many will you actually take ? There are issues that need to be confronted some of which are down to the legacy of London Government policies to which ARTD remains intensely loyal. Our biggest elephant in the room is the backlog of homeless people that need to be resettled, then the preexisting population of refugees and migrants who are stuffed into utterly inadequate housing, and the existence of thousands of empty properties across the UK which could be re-purposed for long term use as transit or permanent homes.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 months ago

Gove must have told him about the 300,000 who have already been given visas.
Oops, sorry, 3,000.
Or is that..errrm?… ?????

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
10 months ago

Is this buffoon suggesting that the Ukrainian women and children queuing, cold and hungry, at the Polish border should wait while the countries of Eurooe “prepare”?

Andrew, somewhere deep inside you there must be a shred of human compassion. Please try to seek it out.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

Is this the same Andrew RT Davies who agreed with Priti Patel bypassing our Senedd Cymru & Welsh Government by dumping 300+ suffering refugees during the height of the Covid pandemic and without sufficient PPE supplies in rundown an ex-army camp in Pembrokeshire. Yes he did. And he talks about concerns over ‘preparedness’ lol. Callous Conservative! Also, to rub their noses in the dirt. He & WS Simon Hart condoned their Ice Queen Patel charging the local ratepayers the £54,000 cost to house them? And he has the bloody nerve to utter such a statement. Heaven help us if this… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Y Cymro
10 months ago

Ah Andrew ReTweet Davies. Never misses an opportunity for self-aggrandisement does he?
The Chief NIMBY of Vale of Glamorgan pretending to care about “ordinary people” and refugees in need again?

Whereas the Welsh and Scottish governments are ready to act. Have stated they are ready to be super sponsors to get around Westminster’s efforts to keep refugees out by dragging their heels.

Re-Tweet can shove his grandstanding, ineffectual “letter” where Gammons traditionally shove things

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