Delivering public services in a war zone

It will be impossible for many of us to truly imagine the horrors of the war in Ukraine and the devastating impact the unprovoked and illegal aggression by Russia is having on the country and its local communities. 

In late March, I, along with many council leaders and mayors from across Europe, joined with mayors from Ukraine, including the deputy mayors of Mariupol and Kyiv, to hear first hand of the terrible humanitarian crisis from Putin’s illegal invasion.

We need to do all we can to support our fellow citizens in their suffering

In the meantime, Ukrainian local authorities continue providing public services, including in areas currently occupied or encircled by Russian troops. 

The call was organised by the Council of Europe as part of its ‘Local governments unite for welfare and peace’ series of events.  

The scenes from Ukraine are heart-breaking and the mayors of Ukraine have shown heroic leadership. 

On behalf of all councils, I expressed to them our full support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our peers in local and regional government, and reiterated that councils stand ready to help with new arrivals from Ukraine. 

The LGA is working closely with the Government and partners to ensure support for new arrivals from Ukraine is put in place quickly and at scale.

And as first was going to press, I was due to give evidence to the Commons’ Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, setting out local government’s priorities.

Refugees Minister Lord Harrington was also due to appear before the committee, whose Chair, Clive Betts MP, has been seeking clarity for councils on a range of issues relating to the Homes for Ukraine scheme’s advice, guidance, administration and co-ordination, and the support available to local councils.  

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For the LGA’s latest updates and information for councils on Ukraine, including support for new arrivals, please visit www.local.gov.uk/ukraine.

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