Arun leaders show support for Ukraine with buildings lit in blue and yellow

Friday, 4 March 2022 19:35

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Arun’s civic leaders have shown their support for the citizens of Ukraine as the country faces a Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian flag was flying at the Civic Centre, in Littlehampton, and at Bognor Regis Town Hall with both buildings also lit up in blue and yellow.

On February 24, Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of the country. According to Reuters, at least 9,100 have been killed with an estimated one million people displaced as of Thursday (March 3).

During a special meeting of Arun District Council last night, councillors wore blue and yellow ties and ribbons to show their support.

Council chairman Jim Brooks said:  “I think it is important that we mention the current situation in the Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those whose lives have been turned upside-down and who have gone from living their normal daily lives to now living in fear and fleeing their homes. Many residents in Arun will be from the Ukraine or Russia and have loved ones that they are concerned about. Our thoughts are with these community members.”

Meanwhile, leader Shaun Gunner said the council ‘stands with the people of Ukraine’ and he condemned President Putin’s actions. “I’ve received more emails about this as leader of the council than anything else,” Mr Gunner said.

“Tonight we in this council are deciding an issue that affects the future of this district and that is because we are fortunate enough to live in a democratic society where the public’s representatives decide issues on their behalf and the public hold them to account for those decisions. Our friends in Ukraine also represent a modern, vibrant democracy that also wants to decide its own future. President Putin – who no more represents the Russian people than we in this chamber do – does not believe in democracy. He does not believe people should decide their own future, being the despot and megalomaniac that he is. He has decided to extinguish democracy in Ukraine by invading it, controlling it,  and subjugating it and using a bunch of pseudo-historical claptrap to justify his actions. But the people of Ukraine are fighting back and in fact, it seems that the people of Sussex have something in common with the people of Ukraine because it seems that our motto ‘We wunt be druv’ is also their motto. We are proudly displaying the colours of Ukraine at this council right now and I see a number of members are also, like me, wearing yellow and blue ties. In Arun we stand with the people of Ukraine in condemning the actions of President Putin.”

The council leader encouraged members of the public to show their support by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee at dec.org.uk

The UK Government has also promised to match any donations up to £20 million.

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