Friday, 15 May 2015

OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES, one of Wisbech's most ardent campaigners has been Victoria Gillick. Here is PART THREE of her report on the effects of immigration on Wisbech.
I make no claim over the accuracy of the statistics, and I neither endorse or refute her personal conclusions
. The report is long and detailed, so it will be published in sections over the next week or so. I have put statistical information in blue font. The remainder are Mrs Gillick's own views. YOUR VIEWS ARE WELCOME, both for and against, and you can make them known via the contact form at the bottom of the blog, or via Twitter -

                                           FUNDING THE IMPACT

In March 2009 Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, set up the Migration Impacts Fund (MIF)9 to help public bodies cope with the mass immigration insisted on by the Government. A total of £70m was made available, financed (so they said) by a compulsory £50 levy on immigration application fees. Funding was allocated to local projects which "....would bring benefits to the settled community as well as the migrants".  The MIF was axed in October 2010 by the incoming Coalition Government on the grounds that "....local authorities themselves are in the best position to decide how to address the impacts of migration on their communities". 

Three years later, in 2012, the Coalition opened up its own pot of gold, the Rogue Landlords Fund,10 this time presumably to assist public services cope with the additional 200,000 migrants from Romania and Bulgaria discovered already living here, and whose inflow rose by a further 61,000 during 2013-14.
                                      MIGRATION IMPACTS FUND

But what a generous honey-pot the MIF was, with any number of bureaucratic fingers dipping into taxpayer's pockets for projects in Cambridgeshire and Fenland, none of which incidentally brought any "benefits to the settled community". Here's how
£1.343 million was spent from the Fund. 11  

                              CAMBRIDGESHIRE  COUNTY  COUNCIL  (2009-10)

To help Police/Health services with emergency accommodation and casework support.......£370,025                           
To combat migrant overcrowding and exploitation...£140,000              

Three multilingual PCSOs, to reduce police interpretation and translation costs.....£213,714          
The production of a DVD  training aid to assist staff who use interpreters....£30,000
Enhanced road safety education to migrant road users.....£20,000   
Specialist police for domestic abuse and sexual violence in migrant communities...£139,514
FENLAND  COUNCIL  (2009/11)  
To employ an additional Private Sector Housing Officer......£57,383
Rogue Landlord's Fund to tackle exploitation of migrant workers (20013/14).......£179,000
                                           THOMAS  CLARKSON  ACADEMY (2009-10)

To recruit multi-disciplinary staff to address pressures on services and families...£193,500

                                                           SLAV'S LABOURS LOST

But what of the migrants' home countries? Will the mass exodus of their young people, mostly to the UK, create prosperity and social justice in Eastern Europe? Poland, for instance, is a large country with a low birth rate. Since it joined the EU in 2004 its population of around 38 million has been deprived not only of 2,300 doctors, but three million able-bodied young workers, dealing a major body-blow to its construction and heavy industries. And even though its economy is being scaffolded by massive subsidies from Brussels, and benefits to some extent from the remittances sent home by its expatriate workers, this cannot compensate Poland in the long-run for the loss of so much of its skilled manpower. Meanwhile the importation of masses of unskilled labour from neighbouring countries even poorer than itself, has depressed Polish wage levels still further.
Now consider the Baltic states, with Lithuania losing at least a million of its young men and women (they already make up the bulk of migrants in Fenland), and this from a country smaller than Ireland, with a population of less than 4 million and one of the lowest birthrates in the  world. Little Latvia is half as small again. How can any of these ex-Soviet nations feasibly survive such a devastating depletion of their own 'prime seed corn' ?
Did Fenland Council ever consider this bigger European picture in its Migrant Population Strategy? Well, yes it did; but only insofar as the future of Eastern European economies might impact on the success of Fenland businesses:
'The extent to which (attracting migrant workers) can be sustained will invariably depend on conditions and circumstances prevailing in labour exporting countries.....A significant determinant of future patterns of labour migration to the UK will be the economic fortunes of labour exporting countries, especially the European Economic Area countries. In this context, a major unknown is the future economic conditions that are likely to prevail in the newest EU member States' 12 
In other words, we'll be all right Jack........just so long as their economies aren't.