Merton’s Labour Council is working towards cancelling its gas contract with energy supplier Gazprom in response to the atrocities committed by the Russian state in Ukraine, and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Gazprom was due to begin a new one-year, £1m contract to supply gas across Merton’s buildings, including leisure centres, libraries and some schools, on April 1. No other suppliers had come forward during the original procurement process.
The Council is now reviewing its position and is in discussions with other energy suppliers. As reported by the BBC Suffolk County Council are also looking at ending a similar arrangement.
Labour Leader Mark Allison said:
“I have asked officers to urgently review options to bring this contract agreement to an end to show our unity and empathy with the people of Ukraine. Any small step we can take is a step that must be taken.
“The atrocities being carried out by Russia are horrific, and know I speak for everyone associated with Merton Council and the borough when I say we stand steadfastly with the people of Ukraine.
“I am also today writing to the Government to ask for urgent changes to the laws around who councils can choose to do business with. Under law all council contracts are commercially-driven. We need the ability to refuse to do business with such firms based their moral or social suitability, not just their commercial offer.”
Local Labour Party members have joined in the many donation efforts occurring across Merton as local residents do their bit to support the people of Ukraine in this dark time.
The Civic Centre Building in Morden will be lit Blue and Yellow, the colours of Ukraine at night for the foreseeable future. The Ukrainian flag will be flown alongside the British flag at the council from the weekend.
Sign up to support Labour Friends of Ukraine
A new group within the party has also been set up for party members to stand in support of Ukraine.
Labour Friends of Ukraine will launch shortly and the group has already set up a provisional mailing list, which you can join HERE
They have also launched a twitter account to keep people related to the Labour movement updated with the party’s support for Ukraine and the ongoing conflict.