March 19, 2022 6.00 am

Tribute to ‘overwhelming’ support for Ukraine (and a flag is on the way)

The council had been criticised for not flying the Ukraine flag

By Local Democracy Reporter

North East Lincolnshire Council says it is doing everything it can to support the victims of the war in Ukraine – and a flag for the town hall is has been ordered.

Tributes were paid to the bravery of the Ukranian people and the generosity of North East Lincolnshire residents in supporting them. Several collections have been ‘overwhelmed’ by donations for people affected by the conflict.

The council had previously been criticised for not flying Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag above the town hall when other local authorities had. It was confirmed that they are trying to obtain one.

Mayor David Hasthorpe told a full meeting of the council: “The fact that a Ukraine flag isn’t flying over the town hall should not be taken as a sign of disregard to the plight of victims.

“A flag has been on order for several weeks, but there is a shortage of those colours.”

Grimsby Minister, the Remembrance Gate and Ross Castle have also been lit up in the country’s colours as a mark of solidarity.

Several local authorities have severed business links with Russian companies in recent weeks. North East Lincolnshire Council confirmed it didn’t have any contracts with either Russia or Belarus.

Councillor Philip Jackson said: “I am sure we are all appalled by what is happening in that country and the suffering of its people at the hands of Russian aggressors. We see horrific scenes on our television screens every evening and on social media.

“This is the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War. As someone who studies that period, it is disturbing how it resembles the devastation on the Eastern Front.”

Residents, charities, communities groups or businesses who wish to sponsor a refugee will receive £350 per month. The government will also provide a £10,500 contribution for their education.

The council is working to co-ordinate deliveries of supplies to Ukraine. Local landlords with available houses have contacted the council about making them available. The council is looking at ways to accelerate this process.

Councillor Ron Shepherd praised the generosity of local collections for people affected by the war.

“There has been a phenomenal amount of activity in this borough. Landlords, community groups, church groups have all contributed,” he said.

“In my ward of Scartho, groups have been overwhelmed by the amount of donations. Nothing will go to waste though – excess goods will be redirected to other collection points to ensure they get to people who need them.”

Information on how to make donations or sponsor a refugee is available on the North East Lincolnshire Council website. A collection point will be open at John Fisher Hall car park on Waltham Road, Scartho, every Saturday from 10am to midday.