Migration into Boston has brought the town to ‘breaking point’, according to the audience member who spoke out on BBC’s Question Time programme last week.
Rachel Bull, who works in Boston and has family here, told the BBC panel that, despite what is said in the council’s report, public services in the area were struggling – and it was only going to get worse.
After the show, filmed at Lincoln’s Drill Hall, told The Standard: “The town is finding it extremely difficult to cope with the influx that are coming in. We are not able to provide all the facilities that are needed.”
The 35-year-old, who has Polish grandparents and lives in Lincoln, said she had ‘major concerns’ about the possible arrival of more economic migrants and the impact it would have on schools and health facilities.
She added: “If any more people come in they will swamp the services. Boston will be a forgotten town.”
Since appearing on the programme, Mrs Bull has featured in the national press as the town’s immigration issues have come under the spotlight once again.
On the flagship BBC political debate, chaired by David Dimbleby, heavily featured Boston was part of a wider discussion about the potential impact on public services expected when changes come in allowing Bulgarians and Romanians freedom of movement within the EU.
MP Grant Shapps, who has spoken with Boston borough councillors on the issue, said: “Boston is right at the extreme end of stresses on services which I believe are very real in Boston.”
The council’s recent report into the social impact of population change was praised by Dr Mary Beard, classics professor at the University of Cambridge.
She said: “It looks very carefully at the challenges that have been happening in Boston and it does identify particular management issues with an influx of population, but it makes it clear we can cope with this, and we can benefit from it.”
But UKIP leader Nigel Farage argued the benefits were slim, and argued work in the fields was done before migrants arrived.