DCSIMG

LIMIT PLEA: Fears over immigrants

THERE were fears today that the city could struggle to cope with the influx of migrants from the Baltic states.

THERE were fears today that the city could struggle to cope with the influx of migrants from the Baltic states.Today, council leader John Peach said he believed Peterborough had taken up to 80 per cent of the 65,000 people who had arrived in East Anglia from countries such as Poland and Slovakia.

Concern in the city comes as the Government has owned up to getting its prediction on immigration from the new EU countries badly wrong, as thousands pour in seeking jobs and a better life.

Today, Cllr Peach warned that Peterborough, which has attracted many Poles in particular, who are looking for construction and agricultural work, may put a strain on the council's budget for education and housing.

Cllr Peach said: "Economic immigrants are here legally and are filling some skills shortages. But Mr Blair didn't sign the treaty to restrict the labour market for seven years like almost every could struggle to cope with the influx of migrants from the Baltic states.

Today, council leader John Peach said he believed Peterborough had taken up to 80 per cent of the 65,000 people who had arrived in East Anglia from countries such as Poland and Slovakia.

Concern in the city comes as the Government has owned up to getting its prediction on immigration from the new EU countries badly wrong, as thousands pour in seeking jobs and a better life.

Today, Cllr Peach warned that Peterborough, which has attracted many Poles in particular, who are looking for construction and agricultural work, may put a strain on the council's budget for education and housing.

Cllr Peach said: "Economic immigrants are here legally and are filling some skills shortages. But Mr Blair didn't sign the treaty to restrict the labour market for seven years like almost every other country did.

"This means a disproportionate number of people come to this country from accession states, and the number for Peterborough is 80 per cent of that for East Anglia.

"It will have serious financial implications for the council.

"Eighty per cent of the income comes from government grants, but that's worked out on figures five years old.

"In Peterborough, this influx has come so quickly our grants can't recompense us for that, and we are left holding the baby."

Today, city MP Stewart Jackson said he feared things could only get worse if the government didn't lay down restrictions on the number of immigrants allowed from Romania and Bulgaria when they became members of the EU community next year.

He said: "The government got the projected immigration figures very badly wrong, and it has had an impact on local services.

"Obviously, we welcome a contribution from foreign workers, but this has to be spread across the country fairly, otherwise there would be a drain on public services.

"On that basis, I don't trust the projected figures on migration from Romania and Bulgaria, and they have to impose limits."

Mr Jackson said the influx had an impact on the unskilled jobs market and also on housing, with some unscrupulous landlords packing people into small properties.

However, some employers spoke up for their Eastern European workers, including Sue Lamb, a partner at Lambs Flowers nursery in Pinchbeck, near Spalding.

She said: "We employ Eastern European university students who haven't been successful with getting jobs at home.

"They are extremely helpful and we couldn't do it without them.

"It's physical work, and they have a willingness to do it.

"It also feels like we've acquired an extended family, and we act like pastors to them."

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page