At a meeting of the County Council held at Endeavour House today, councillors from across the political divide voted in favour of a motion condemning the war in Ukraine, pledging their full backing for the Ukrainian people and committing to support refugees arriving in Suffolk. 

The cross party motion described the invasion of Ukraine as “immoral and reprehensible”, and praised the “enduring bravery” of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression.  The motion also stated that the council in no way associated the actions of the Russian government with individuals of Russian heritage living in Suffolk. 

On the issue of refugees the council made clear its willingness to help settle individuals and families fleeing the conflict.  Committing itself to support the people of Ukraine and pledged to work with District and Borough Councils along with the Suffolk Resilience Forum, the Voluntary Sector, Suffolk Refugee Support and MPs to ensure all efforts are made to welcome Displaced People coming from Ukraine to Suffolk. 

The motion went on to praise the Government’s economic response to the conflict, but stressed the need for easier and faster routes for refugees wanting to come to this country.  

Cllr. Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council and the proposer of the motion said “I am pleased that this motion passed today.  At times like these it is absolutely right that we lay down our party political differences and come together as one democratically elected chamber to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people.  By doing so we send a strong message; that the power of democracy and the innate human desire for freedom will never be silenced by the brutal murder of innocent people by the use of force.  We are clear that the people of Ukraine have our full support, and that as a county we will do all we can to help those fleeing this war.”

Cllr. Andrew Stringer, Leader of the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independents Group, and seconder of the motion said; “We are pleased that all Political Leaders of Suffolk County Council have agreed to work together, and put to one side our differences to show our united support for the Ukrainian people and to thank the people of Suffolk for their heartfelt response to the dreadful actions of the current Russian leader. We will do everything we can to ensure all those fleeing this war are given the best opportunity to be a part of Suffolk, and while the circumstances are cruel and unjust, we look forward to their arrival with open arms.”

Cllr. Sarah Adams, Leader of the Labour Group said; “Today’s debate saw the council come together and stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as they face the brutal reality of war.  I’m especially pleased that the council has committed itself to do all it can to support people who are fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.  It is absolutely right that refugees and asylum seekers from anywhere in the world are fully welcomed and supported in Suffolk.”