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Support for Ukrainian refugees: Clive Betts calls on Lord Harrington to set out support for refugees

22 March 2022

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, has written to Lord Harrington, Minister for Refugees, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to seek clarity on the support being provided to Ukrainian refugees and the Government guidance and administrative and financial support being made available to local authorities to help those seeking sanctuary in the UK.

The correspondence (22 March), follows questions from Clive Betts, LUHC Chair at the recent Home Affairs evidence session. The letter to Lord Harrington asks for a response from the Government on a range of issues relating to the advice, guidance, administration and co-ordination of the scheme and the support available to local councils to provide services including school places.

The LUHC Committee will also hold an evidence hearing on the morning of Wednesday 30 March with Lord Harrington on the Government’s support for Ukrainian refugees. A representative from the Local Government Association will also give evidence.

Chair's comment

Clive Betts, Chair of the LUHC Committee, said: “Providing sanctuary for those fleeing Ukraine is vital and welcome. Local councils are keen to provide this support. Ensuring people are welcomed and looked after properly is crucially important. It is concerning to hear that there are a series of areas where Government is not currently coming forward with enough advice, guidance and co-ordination to help local councils provide the care and support which Ukrainian refugees need.

“We recognise the demands on the Department with the workload in handling the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme but the Government needs to up its game on consulting and co-ordinating with local councils so they can provide the support to Ukrainian refugees on the ground and make the scheme work in practice. At the moment it seems unlikely that the full wraparound service that the Government has committed to will be available to those refugees who are arriving in the UK now.”

The LUHC Committee has also published today correspondence (18 March) from Jeremy Pocklington CB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), on the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, local authority support, and local procurement rules particularly in respect of some councils’ exposure to Gazprom.

Further information

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