MP raises immigrant issues with minister
AN URGENT plea to the Government to tackle Peterborough’s growing number of migrant workers has been made by the city’s MP.
The appeal has come from Stewart Jackson, who claims too much pressure is being put on council, police and health services by the influx of newcomers.
His request for help came during a meeting with immigration minister Damian Green at the Home Office, in London.
Home Office figures show that in 2002/03, just 1,840 national insurance numbers were issued to workers in Peterborough from overseas.
That figure had gone up to 4,570 in the last financial year.
Mr Jackson said: “We need more help in Peterborough to remove people who migrate here and are not working nor trying to find work.
“In recent years there has been an unacceptable and unprecedented amount of immigrants coming to the city.
“I wanted to let the minister know the strain this is putting on the city, and to lobby for the continuation of the UK Border Agency’s policy of removing immigrants who do not contribute anything to their new society.”
Midlands director for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Gail Adams was also at the meeting.
In April, Peterborough was chosen by the UKBA to host its Administrative Removal scheme – a three-month trial to deport unemployed migrants.
EU nationals are free to move between nation states’ borders, but can now be removed if they cannot prove they are supporting themselves three months after coming to Britain.
Since the scheme began 77 people have been forced to leave Peterborough by Border Agency officials.
Mr Jackson asked that the UKBA and government continue the scheme past its proposed trial period, which ends next week.
Immigration minister Damian Green MP said: “My meeting with Mr Jackson was very positive.
“I was keen to find out more about how migration is affecting Peterborough and will seek to hear more from the council or MPs that feel that communities are facing extra pressures.”
Mr Jackson specifically focused on the effect immigration has had on resources in Peterborough.
He added: “We have gone from having a population of 156,000 in 2001 to 173,000 now. What other cities have had such an increase?
“There is still a large number coming in and they are costing a lot to the taxpayers.”
“Mr Green understood that we need help to remove people who are not contributing to the city because they are causing a strain to already stretched resources.”
PLEA: One of the migrant camps that has sprung up in the city and , inset, MP Stewart Jackson.