Social impact of population change – the recommendations

TACKLING street drinking is one of the most important actions needed to deal with the challenges stemming from mass migration, it has been claimed.

A zero-tolerance approach to street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour has been called for by the task and finish group behind the inquiry in a bid to deal with common tensions in the town.

But despite the call, the group has stressed that public drinking issues are not solely down to the migrant population.

Coun Mike Gilbert, the authority’s portfolio holder for communities, said: “It would be wrong to say the foreign nationals are responsible for the street drinking – it crosses all parts of the town. It has come to prominence in recent years, and the number of foreign tins does tend to reinforce prejudice and up tensions in the community.”

The authority has pledged to work with police to deal with street drinking.

Councillors have also backed a restorative justice programme by Lincolnshire Police aimed at beating public urination and other anti-social behaviour. The initiative will see perpetrators made to clean up if they have urinated.

Another area covered by the recommendations is the licensing of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) with the ‘utmost urgency’, which could lead to better living conditions for many migrant workers. It was stated better regulation could also improve the lives of people living nearby.

Coun Kenny added the report aimed to address issues for everyone within the borough.

He said: “We want to get people who live in Boston to feel that the quality of life issues are improving, and where there are issues they can talk about it.

“In the past I don’t think we have ignored it as such, but I don’t think we faced it as much as we could have done.”

Local recommendations also included promoting Boston’s multi-culturalism in a positive light – with mention of promoting West Street as a greater shopping opportunity for visitors.

On a national level, the report calls for a more robust system to track foreign vehicles entering and leaving UK borders.

A call for increased health funding to deal with a growing population has also been made.

Coun Gilbert said: “Hopefully it will tackle a number of areas where there are misunderstandings and go towards alleviating tensions.”