Friday 25 March 2022

East Riding Council is on standby to take Ukrainian refugees after receiving hundreds of inquiries asking how to help. The council’s Overview, Management and Scrutiny Committee heard the system for resettling Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s invasion was ever-evolving, even by the hour. 

Council chief executive Caroline Lacey told councillors County Hall officials were currently working from one sheet of paper’s worth of guidance, which left many questions unanswered. And council Equalities Champion Cllr Jacob Birch told the committee financial support would be available for locals who take Ukrainians in, but further details were needed on the amounts. People taking in Ukrainian refugees will get support payments of up to £350, but councillors heard further clarification was needed on whether it was per family or individual. 

Meanwhile, East Riding Council’s leader has said £150 payments for households to help with rising energy costs could be managed more simply as thousands locally face uncertainty over receiving it. Cllr Jonathan Owen said payment of council tax rebates by direct debit made the process more difficult as the authority does not hold bank details for around 30,000 people. 

Deputy Leader Cllr John Holtby said its efforts to get payments to those who do not automatically qualify for the rebates would also be more difficult than they appeared. It comes as the council’s Cabinet approved drawing up a scheme to provide payments to households who fall outside the parameters of the Government scheme unveiled in February.