THE STORY SO FAR
A medium-sized UK City is moved by the plight of the people of Ukraine + wants to play its part in providing accommodation for refugees fleeing from Mauripol.
The City is not without its problems as it has taken its allocation – made by the Government – of boat people from Yemen who have crossed the English Channel in dangerous conditions hoping they will be able to settle in the UK. It is unclear how many of the boat people are asylum seekers + how many are economic migrants. Equally, there are suspicions that some of the Ukrainian refugees may be Russian ‘sleepers’ who have intentionally attached themselves to the Ukrainians for ulterior long-term pro-Russia reasons.
The arrival of the Two Groups – Ukrainian Refugees + Boat People – has stirred tensions within the City with some UK nationals concerned that looking after the Two Groups is at the expense of local UK citizens struggling with housing demands, rising food costs and fuel bills.
The City Council is under pressure. Its leadership is well-intentioned but recognises that there are competing demands on limited resources. Views vary from those who want to assist the Two Groups to those for whom Local Citizens should have priority. The issue is giving rise to political tensions between the Left and Right which threaten stability within the City.
The Council resists suggestions to refuse all people from the Two Groups in favour of prioritising UK citizens. At the same time, the Council knows there are limits to what it can offer people from the Two Groups in terms of clothes, accommodation, medical services + education.
The Council identifies the three main groups – Ukrainian Refugees, the Boat People and the UK Citizens – and appoints Two Mediators to take charge and propose a way forward to the Council. The first is a Head Teacher of a local State School + the second is a recently retired Independent Local Councillor of many years standing.
EPISODE 2. 11 MAY 2021
THE MEDIATORS ASSESS