A delegation of MPs will visit Boston to see for themselves some of the issues the town faces as a result of mass immigration.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration has agreed to visit the town later in the year to further their understanding of the challenges presented to the people of Boston by migration. It comes after Coun Paul Kenny, who last year chaired an inquiry into immigration issues, and communities portfolio holder Coun Mike Gilbert met with the committee last week for their special hearing ‘Immigration across the UK: How do we ensure no-one is left behind?’. Coun Kenny said: “I went down and did a case study of Boston, and I got them to agree to talk to ministers about the issues in Boston and come to Boston and talk to people.
“We want them to understand the issues, and if they visit, it could help them to do that.” The councillor discussed the report into the social impact of population change, which was published last year, and spoke of the recommendations which were put forward following the inquiry, including tackling street drinking. “These were just a few of the the 28 recommendations which we believe the Government should take action on and pursue some of our recommendations related to the European Union,” he said.
Coun Gilbert added he thought it was important to have had the opportunity to discuss the issues, adding: “It’s credit to the council and the work of the task and finish group that the Government is taking it seriously.”
This hearing was particularly relevant for Boston, Coun Kenny told the committee, because many people feel they are being overlooked because of the significant number of migrant workers who have settled in the area. The 2011 census showed an increase of more than 15 per cent in Boston’s population in a decade, with figures rising from under 56,000 in 2001, to 64,600 at the most recent count. MP Mark Simmonds has also confirmed he will raise issues from the council’s report with ministers on behalf of the borough.