Mayor of Beccles 'looking into' housing Ukrainian refugees

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The Mayor of Beccles has said he is 'looking into' housing Ukrainian refugees. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The mayor of Beccles has confirmed that he is 'looking into' housing Ukrainian refugees as the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme is launched by the government this week.

Richard Stubbings, mayor of Beccles, said we can all find a way to contribute and help with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme enables individuals, charities and groups to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and provide them a safe route out of Ukraine.

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A Polish border guard carries a child as refugees from Ukraine cross into Poland at the Medyka crossing. - Credit: AP

Since the scheme went live on Monday afternoon, more than 100,000 people have already signed up.

The government is hoping to place refugees with people by as early as next week with no limit imposed on the number of refugees able to come into the UK.

Hosts will get £350 a month tax-free for opening their homes to refugees.

It is free for Ukrainian refugees to apply to the scheme.

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But the government has come under pressure for not implementing the scheme fast enough.

Talking about the scheme, Mr Stubbings said: “It’s certainly something that I am looking in to.

"I believe that we all need to see what we can contribute.

"I understand that a number of organisations are likewise looking into the whole situation and are seeing if they can come up with a more complete solution that provides both accommodation and jobs so that the refugees can more fully take part and belong.

"I fully support this approach.”

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Local militiaman Valery carries a child as he helps a fleeing family across a bridge destroyed by artillery, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. - Credit: AP

Local councils will have a responsibility of ensuring that accommodation offered to refugees is appropriate.

A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: “We are working closely with councils and colleagues across Suffolk to ensure we can deliver an effective, co-ordinated response to any proposals.

 “We are currently awaiting guidance from government and look forward to receiving further information which will enable us to proceed.”

All Ukrainians coming to the UK under the scheme will be able to seek employment opportunities and apply for benefits.

Leave will be granted to them to stay in the UK for up to three years and they will be able to access public services including the NHS and schooling.