A new £1,39 million Government grant is set to be used to promote community cohesion, says Boston Borough Council after it was awarded the cash today (Thursday).
The money has come from the Government’s Controlling Migration Fund, following a bid by the council and partners,
The authority says the funding will be used to promote cohesion through projects such as improving access to English lessons and bolstering advice services.
It sayd there will be a specific increased focus on tackling rogue landlords and anti-social behaviour and their impacts.
They are looking to work in partnership with various local charities and organisations including the Stump
Boston Borough Council Leader, Coun Michael Cooper, said the money recognised the impact that migration has had locally.
He said: “Our partnership will focus on doing things that our residents have told us are important to them. We will use the funding to bring people together in various ways including through sport, events and making the most of our physical assets like St Botolph’s Church.
“We will extend the availability of advice services, enforcement capacity, community leadership and volunteering opportunities and importantly, we will support the development of English language skills to support people communicate effectively with public services to help save time and money and increase efficiency and effectiveness.”
Coun Martin Griggs, Portfolio Holder for Communities, called the news ‘excellent’ and said: “The funding will allow the Council to continue and expand our award winning work to tackle rogue landlords and improve housing locally.
“It will also enable us to work with the Stump on their ‘A Passion for People’ project’, to help improve English language skills across the migrant community, as well as improving integration between the various communities who call Boston home.”
The bid was backed in Westminster by Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman who said: “From taking on rogue landlords and anti-social behaviour to helping Boston Stump unite our community, this major government boost recognises the unique challenges Boston has faced.
“I am very pleased that Boston Borough Council has won this ambitious funding bid, and I congratulate all of the team involved in it. While immigration has brought benefits to the area and our local economy, the population growth in such a short space of time has put significant pressure on public services – that’s why I lobbied ministers for additional funding to help to relieve pressure and brought Lord Bourne to see our specific situation.
“I look forward to supporting the Council’s work using this money to unlock further resources and improve housing and foster greater community cohesion.”
Communities Minister Lord Bourne, who visited Boston earlier this year to see the challenges faced by the town, said the funding would create ‘stronger relationships between neighbours and unlock better services for all’
He said: “It’s great to see so many projects tackling the problems of poor integration in their communities by, for example, allowing migrants to unlock the benefits of good English.
Commenting on the Fund nationally, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid MP, said: “New arrivals can be a great asset to Britain - boosting the local workforce and economy. But in some places population change in a short space of time has put pressure on local services. We’re clear there are things we can do to address these problems.
“This new funding will help councils rise to the challenge of reducing the impact of migration on local communities in a variety of ways – whether that’s tackling the small minority of landlords who damage neighbourhoods with overcrowded properties, providing English language classes to ensure effective integration rather than reliance on translation services, or tackling serious organised crime and exploitative employers.”