Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish Government told to do its part to help Ukrainian refugees

The Scottish Government need to do more to support Ukrainian refugees, the Scottish Liberal Democrats said (David Parry/PA)
The Scottish Government need to do more to support Ukrainian refugees, the Scottish Liberal Democrats said (David Parry/PA)

Scottish Government ministers have been told to “do their part” in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton made the plea while setting out a plan to improve the refugee scheme for those fleeing Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

His comments follow a meeting with former Foreign and Commonwealth official Duncan Spinner, who is working to get Ukrainians to Scotland safely.

The improvement calls come as the Scottish Government announced its super-sponsor scheme, which makes it easier for Ukrainian nationals to flee to Scotland, would be suspended due to a lack of suitable housing.

Coronavirus – Wed Sep 29, 2021
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has developed a plan to support Ukrainian refugees (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)

Refugees have began being housed in the MS Victoria cruise ship docked at Leith, in Edinburgh.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said the suspension is causing significant problems for those awaiting housing.

He has issued a public call for the Scottish Government to provide more adequate homes and hosts, while supporting refugees to seek permanent accommodation.

He said: “When the war in Ukraine started, there was an outpouring of support from the people of Scotland.

“Unfortunately the collapse of the Scottish Government’s super-sponsor scheme and the slow progress in vetting hosts is causing big problems.

“It is not for want of goodwill but local authorities are just not assessing homes fast enough.

“Charities are warning of failed placements and a backlog of cases which means that people cannot get out of Ukraine.

“From speaking with Duncan, I know that he is astonished that so little work was done to match the ambitious promises made by the First Minister with action.

“The super-sponsor scheme said ‘come here now’, but there was a big gap between demand and the number of homes vetted and available.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton, who signed up to host a Ukrainian family with his wife, said there were months between registering and hearing from the council about the scheme.

He said the delays have left families with “tragic circumstances”.

Among his plans, the Edinburgh Western MSP also called for the extension of the free bus pass to all Ukrainian refugees for at least their first year.

And the skills of refugees should be identified earlier to help them seek employment as quickly as possible.

Comprehensive language support, particularly around healthcare, is also suggested in his plans.

“The Government should work with the Ukrainians coming into Scotland to make the most of their skills,” he added.

“Many of them are trained in social work, social care and medicine. They can help their fellow refugees in accessing services and in-time put their skills to work in Scotland.

“The generosity of the Scottish people towards those in need has been incredible,” Mr Cole-Hamilton said.

“Now our Government needs to do their part.”

Minister with Special Responsibilities for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray said: “As a nation, Scotland has risen in solidarity with Ukrainians in their hour of need.

“I am proud that thanks in large part to our super sponsor scheme, we are now providing safe accommodation to the most Ukrainians per head of population in the UK.

“We have chosen to pause our scheme so that we can continue to provide a high level of support and care to everyone who has already been granted a visa.

“Furthermore, we continue to take significant action to increase our temporary accommodation capacity as well as boosting our matching system to maximise the number of people who can be placed with volunteer hosts who have completed the necessary safeguarding checks.”