COUNCILLORS in WEST Devon today officially opened their arms to Ukrainian refugees - and pledged £10,000 to help the war-torn country. West Devon Borough Council leader Neil Jory revealed the authority has set up a dedicated task force to help incoming refugees who are seeking homes in the area.

The cash, plucked from council reserves, will go to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, set up by the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Cllr Jory told councillors that such a grant was ‘unprecendented’ and added the war was ‘something we didn’t expect to see in our lifetimes.’

The council leader praised the efforts of West Devon people who have already offered accommodation to refugees fleeing the Russian army.

He said 17 sponsors from across the borough had offered 54 refugees homes, with the council’s task force having already visited them and completed their documentation in all but one case.

Cllr Jory added the council would offer help to refugees as and when it was needed and said that assistance would be needed for some time to come.