Green MSP speaks out after Ukrainian refugees given notice of move before Christmas

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Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Stirling, has written today to Neil Gray, the Minister for Ukrainian Refugees, seeking “urgent reassurances” that the government will continue to provide support for Ukrainian refugees being moved on from a hotel in Killin, where many had been housed since July.

Ruskell hopes that the Scottish Government will properly support the refugees to find appropriate permanent accommodation after the community and local council were informed last weekend that the contract with the Killin Hotel had been terminated by the Scottish Government, despite previous assurances that the refugees would be housed there until March 2023.

Commenting further, Ruskell said:

“Over the past year, communities across Stirling have welcomed displaced Ukrainians with open arms. In places like Killin, families fleeing the unimaginable horrors of war have found safety, security and respite.

“It is deeply worrying that the Ukrainian residents at the Killin Hotel are now facing uncertainty once again, with the news that they must all move onto other accommodation in a matter of weeks.  

“Of course we agree that hotel accommodation should is not appropriate for long term stays, and steps to support displaced Ukrainians into permanent, settled housing are incredibly welcome. However, this process must be managed carefully, and most crucially our Ukrainian friends must be empowered to choose the housing situation that works best for them and their families.

“I know that Stirling Council are working incredibly hard to find solutions, and I hope that the Minister can provide me with urgent reassurances that all those being moved on from the Killin Hotel will be properly supported into appropriate permanent housing.”

Currently, over 60 refugees are living in the hotel, with children attending local schools and parents finding employment in the local community. It has come as a shock to them that they will now be moved before Christmas.

Speaking in the Daily Record, Mr Vyas said: “It came out of the blue for us. The contract had earlier been extended until March 31 and we had everything confirmed and we had cleared everything over Christmas and the winter. We didn’t see it coming.

“Everything had settled down here, the kids were going to school. You don’t want to give them the feeling that they are going to be moved around every couple of months. When they heard what was happening, some were upset, some were crying.”

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