Narrow vote puts paid to protest march...for now

Public meeting at the Assemblty Rooms over whether or not to march.
Public meeting at the Assemblty Rooms over whether or not to march.

PEOPLE in Boston have voted against holding an anti-immigration march in the centre of the town.

At a packed public meeting at the Assembly Rooms last Monday night, 66 people stood against marching, narrowly beating the 64 who voted in favour of staging the protest.

But it does not mean the controversial event is off the table, organisers say. Time will now be given to allow Boston Borough Council to complete a report into the impacts of immigration.

Protest organiser Dean Everitt said after the meeting: “If we are still not happy the march is still an option. It’s not cancelled, it’s postponed. The decision is that it is not the right time to march.

“I am a bit unsure as to whether we have got the right decision.

“I think everything is going to rely on this report.”

He added: “I think people want change and don’t want to see the town destroyed. They want to see things done the right way and I feel the right way will be to work with the authorities.”

Boston MP Mark Simmonds has promised to take the council report, which is expected to be completed later in the year, to Prime Minister David Cameron to bid for support with the borough’s immigration issues.

If campaigners do not accept the results of the report and its recommendations, the public will once again be called to vote on the matter. Coun Paul Kenny, who has spearheaded the evidence gathering, said after Monday’s meeting: “I’m pleased the people have decided they will wait.”

Coun Kenny and other councillors joined Mr Everitt, fellow campaigner Bob McAuley and police at Monday night’s meeting, which quickly descended into a hostile exchange of views.

Issues with housing, employment and health services were raised and loudly supported by the gathered crowd. The main issue raised, however, was security and personal safety, with several people saying they no longer felt safe walking around town.

After the meeting we caught up with Dean Everitt for his reaction