IMMIGRATION: Call for Boston to get powers it needs to deal with immigration impact

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Immigration figures have proved what everyone already knew...and now Boston must be given the powers to cope with its massively increased population, according to the borough’s mayor.

Figures released last week showed that Boston’s non-UK born population rose from 1,727 in 2001 to 9,790 in 2011. The increase – 8,063 – is 467 per cent and was the biggest rise in the region.

A separate Home Office report said the rise in migrants relevant to the existing population was 10 times higher than the national average.

The numbers came as no surprise but prove the extent of the population jump.

Mayor Coun Paul Kenny said immigration is an issue that ‘isn’t going to go away’ but said it was important that the Government handed over the powers to tackle issues such as street drinking, licensing and housing to create ‘fair rules’.

Coun Paul Kenny led a task and finish group ‘inquiry’ into the matter, with a report coming up with 28 recommendations to cope with issues arising from the influx of migrant workers.

Coun Kenny said it’s now time for the Government to help them deliver those 28 points – which were revealed in October last year.

He said: “We need the 28 recommendations properly considered and implementing over the next 18 to 20 months.

“To do that we have got to get David Cameron’s Government to support it.

“Some people might want to see our population growth as a negative, I’m not saying that, I’m saying we need the support to make sure we provide services that can deal with that population.”

He called for stronger laws on licensing, priority for housing to be given to local people and those who do not commit crimes, rules to stop people sending benefits to their home country and the ability to make an outright street drinking ban – but insisted: “It’s not about getting tough on foreigners, it’s about fairness and transparency.”

He stressed some of the measures – such as licensing and housing – are self-funding and can be delivered despite budget cuts placed on local authorities.