Almost £800,000 of government funding has been secured by Fenland District Council to advance its work in reducing the impact of migration on local communities.
The council received the grant resource from the Controlling Migration Fund after putting together bids to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The funding will help the authority tackle various migration issues across the district such as homelessness, overcrowding and poor conditions in private sector housing, modern day slavery, discrimination and street drinking – all of which have an impact on local people.
A total of £793,913 has been secured to get six new projects off the ground, with a further £320,000 secured for two more joint projects with Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.
The Fenland projects are:
. Private Sector Housing Enforcement – a new team of enforcers will inspect thousands of privately-rented properties in Wisbech to identify failings and take action against rogue landlords.
. Parallel Lives Project – working with the Roma community, the most vulnerable migrant group across the East of England, to integrate them into the region, tackle chronic discrimination and ease pressures on local services.
. Modern Day Slavery Support – raising awareness of modern day slavery, its victims and its devastating effects, to help identify, support and save victims from its abuse.
. Wisbech Night Shelter expansion – help more homeless people, both British and European, by expanding the number of relief beds from 14 to 18 and increasing support to help them access employment and medical services.
. Grow it, Cook it, Share it, Compare it – promoting community cohesion by encouraging people from different nationalities to grow and cook fruits and vegetables from their cultures, and then share and compare them with others.
. Migrant Outreach Service – work with migrants threatened with homelessness or who are already sleeping rough, with the aim of reducing the problem and preventing people from returning to the streets with the right advice and support.
The joint projects with Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council will tackle a street drinking culture in Wisbech and improve migrants’ understanding of key public services by providing more accessible information through social media.
Cllr Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for communities, said: “Securing this government funding is excellent news for Fenland as it will enable us to continue our targeted approach on reducing the impact of migration on local communities.
“The projects will help us to delve deeper into local migration issues - to understand the challenges and create long-term solutions to empower community cohesion and integration while easing pressure on local services.”