The Leader made the following announcement regarding the situation in the Ukraine:
The current situation as understood by the Government was that around 1 million people had currently been displaced, and the Ukrainian Ambassador had stated at a meeting the day before that this could eventually rise to around 20 million. The intention was to move all women and children out, and that the men would remain behind to fight for their country. It was anticipated that the war would not be over quickly – it was important therefore that the district supported and harnessed the community efforts that were currently underway, and that it then stepped up to keep the momentum going in the future. The bridge point for collections in the South Holland area was currently the Ukrainian Church in Peterborough, from where donations were then sent to Poland. Emily Holmes was the officer currently leading on this work and she was drawing together a briefing note on the current situation which would be sent to all members the next day.
The Leader also advised that Lincolnshire Leaders had all met yesterday and had agreed a position on the situation. He stated that the recent comments made in the House of Commons by Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, on Ukrainian refugees did not reflect the views of Lincolnshire Leaders – a rebuttal statement had immediately been issued stating that his views were not the views of the people of Lincolnshire, that they stood with the people of Ukraine, and that Lincolnshire would take in refugees when the time came. With regard to the situation around refugees in the future, the Government was trying to confirm the number of Ukrainians currently living in the UK – should refugees whose families lived here wish to come to the UK, the impact on the UK would be significant. The Government had also agreed that individuals living in the UK could sponsor people from the Ukraine to come to the UK. It was anticipated that there would be a lot of good will in this regard. However, as with community efforts to provide assistance, there had to be recognition that this situation could last for a long period of time. Finally, the Leader advised that a book of support had been opened in Parliament, and that he had signed it and provided a message of support on behalf of the people of South Holland.
Announcement by Members of the Cabinet
Councillor Taylor reminded members that a Question without Notice had been raised at the last meeting of the Council regarding celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and a further update on this was provided.
He advised that celebrations would take place throughout the year. The Communities Team was offering guidance and support to communities across the district, and Parish Councils and community groups were being encouraged to register their activities so that these could be mapped across the district. To date, the following had been registered – tree planting, the lighting of beacons, installation of benches, community picnics, and a 1950s weekend. It was a year-long celebration, rather than just the weekend in June itself. The website would continue to be updated, social media would be utilised and information would be shared with the press and councillors. It was hoped that councillors would be in attendance at some of these events.