‘Bureaucracy’ is holding back Stirling’s efforts to welcome refugees, adviser says
A frustrated adviser says bureaucracy is holding up local efforts to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Stirling.
Bannockburn Independent Borough Councilor Alasdair MacPherson called for “urgency and action” to help those fleeing war.
And he expressed disappointment that Stirling councilors could not formally discuss the local response until sometime after the May 5 municipal election.
Councilor Macpherson said: “Concerns have been raised with me that the lack of advice from the Scottish Government is slowing the response of local authorities, including Stirling Council, to help refugees fleeing the appalling war in Ukraine. .
“I raised the issue with senior council officials, but the response I received – that a committee will meet ‘after’ the May election to make the necessary decisions – is simply not good enough. .
“The UK Conservative government’s too weak and too late response to date has been nothing short of despicable, but at least these vulnerable people can now come to Scotland for help. Local authorities are trying to make decisions about housing these poor people, organizing schooling and other services, but time is running out.
“I call for action now and, if the Scottish Government’s inaction is the cause of the lockdown, it must be resolved immediately and without further delay. We cannot let red tape stop us from offering help and support to other human beings who desperately need it.
Council officials had told Councilor Macpherson that a task force had been set up to support all programs set out by the Scottish and UK Governments, but they were unable to provide a ‘detailed brief’.
They assured, however, that Stirling’s response was prioritized and “worked vigorously” and that a communication / information document would be provided “as soon as possible” to advisers and, if necessary, a detailed document filed at the earliest available. . committee after the elections.
Council leader Councilor Scott Farmer (SNP) told the Observer: “While I share Councilor Macpherson’s frustrations, Stirling Council has worked quickly through COSLA and the Scottish Government and endorsed guidelines regarding the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
“The Scottish Government has consistently raised concerns with the UK Government about the overly bureaucratic visa system which has resulted in appalling numbers of refugees being allowed into the UK.
“Stirling stands with other Scottish local authorities in pledging to play its full part in alleviating the plight of these desperate people as soon as possible.”
A spokesperson for the council said: “The council is working with the UK and Scottish governments as well as local partners to ensure people arriving in Scotland from Ukraine are looked after.”