Update: Boston under discussion on Question Time

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

Boston’s migration issues were called into question on the national stage last night, when the matter was discussed on BBC Question Time last night.

The town was described as being at the ‘extreme end of the stresses’ caused by immigration on local services on the programme, during a discussion about the pressures put on local services by large numbers of migrants settling in the UK.

Panellists on the show, which was filmed in Lincoln, talked about the challenges faced by people in Boston, and the potential impact of changes which will allow Bulgarians and Romanians to move freely within the EU from next year.

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps MP, who met with Boston Borough Council leaders last year, said: “There are a lot of strains there, and they are very concerned the census information doesn’t represent that. They are right at the extreme end of the stresses on services, which I believe are very real in Boston.”

Talk on Boston was sparked after Dr Mary Beard, a professor of Classics at Cambridge University, localised the wider discussion by mentioning the report into the social impact of population change which was published by Boston Borough Council last year.

Describing it as ‘the most impressive single document I have read on the issue’, she said: “It does answer the questions about public services because it looks very carefully at the challenges that have been happening in Boston over the last 10 years and it does identify particular management issues with an influx of any ind of population.

“But at the same time what makes absolutely clear is that, actually, we can cope with thins and we can benefit from it.”

However, one woman in the audience, who said she worked in Boston and has family and friends here, said she could not agree with the professor. S

She said on the programme: “We have had major issue. Boston is at breaking point. People can’t cope anymore. There are hardly any locals anymore, because they are all moving away. You go down Boston high street and it’s like you are in a foreign country. It’s got to stop.”

See next week’s paper for more on this story. In the meantime, let us know what you think.