Agenda item

Urgent Item of Business - Notice of Motion Regarding Ukraine



RESOLVED: On the motion of the Lord Mayor (Councillor Gail Smith) and seconded by Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.1, the order of business as published on the Council Summons be altered by taking an urgent item of business (Notice of Motion Regarding “Ukraine”) at this point in the proceedings.




The Lord Mayor stated that Council Procedure Rule 26 states that “An item of business may be considered at a meeting of the Council as a matter of urgency, where it has not been possible to give five clear working days’ notice, on the recommendation of the Chair, but the reason for such urgency must be recorded in the minutes. Any non-confidential or non-exempt report relating to such item must be made available for public inspection once it has been issued”.




The Lord Mayor commented that in view of the conflict in Ukraine, it was proposed that a Notice of Motion regarding that matter be considered as an urgent item of business at today’s meeting.  The reasons for urgency and explanation of why it was not possible to submit the Notice of Motion in accordance with the usual timescales, was that this is clearly an important matter of concern to Members of the Council and the community in Sheffield, and that it is important for the Council to make a statement on the matter at the earliest opportunity.  The conflict escalated after the agenda for the meeting had been published.




In view of the nature and timing of the issue, the Lord Mayor stated that she was satisfied that there were clear reasons for taking the Notice of Motion as an urgent item of business.




The proposed Motion was circulated to all Members of the Council on 1st March 2021 and has been published on the Council’s website. Copies of the Motion were available in the meeting room.




The Lord Mayor stated that questions from two members of the public regarding the conflict in Ukraine had been received immediately prior to the start of the meeting, and she proposed to use her discretion, as chair of the meeting, and permit the questions to be asked at this point in the proceedings.




Olena expressed her thanks and appreciation for the support shown by the Council and the people of Sheffield for Ukraine. She requested that such support should continue on the basis that urgent changes were needed on a national level, and without such changes, peace in Ukraine would never be achieved. Olena stressed that Russia would not stop themselves, and that action was needed from others to stop them and if this didn’t happen, there was a danger of history repeating itself, as in the Second World War.




June Gwynn asked what steps the Council would be taking to help the people of Ukraine.




The Lord Mayor stated that responses to the comments and the question now raised would be addressed as part of the discussion to be held on the Notice of Motion.




On the motion of the Lord Mayor (Councillor Gail Smith), seconded by Councillor Peter Price, and following contributions from seven other Members, and a right of reply from Councillor Peter Price (on behalf of the Lord Mayor), it was -




RESOLVED: That this Council:-




(a)      notes with shock and horror the deeply upsetting situation in Ukraine and believes that Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an unprovoked, unjustifiable outrage and a heinous violation of international law that will have tragic consequences;




(b)      takes a stand in complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they bravely resist this assault;




(c)      notes the horrific ordeal facing many as they flee to safety and who now face a future that they could never have imagined;




(d)      notes that for many years Sheffield has been twinned with the city of Donetsk in Ukraine and we have a well-established Ukrainian community in our city, and believes we must stand with them and against the bullying tactics of Putin’s Russian State and the military aggression that Ukraine is facing;




(e)      notes that this is not a war waged by Russian citizens but by its President and his high-ranking military officials, and notes that many Russians have made Sheffield their home;




(f)       notes that there are those in Russia who are standing up for what is right and making their voices heard against their own Government, and these people must be commended, and notes that due to brutal police crackdowns on freedom of speech it is dangerous to voice anti-Putin sentiments; and




(g)      believes that Sheffield is a city of sanctuary, and we should be proud of the fact we can provide a safe place in their time of need and that, though ultimately immigration and asylum matters are for the national government, we will always willingly and openly take our fair share of people in need.