Ukip councillor calls for end to translation services to make people ‘learn our language’

Alan Lay claims his plan could save council £15,000 a year in interpretation costs

A Ukip councillor has called for translation services to be scrapped for all information issued by Cambridge council in a bid to save £15,000 a year, and to force “indifferent people to learn and understand English”.

Alan Lay told Cambridge county council that it “should not be treated as a free translation secretarial service,” the Wisbech Standard reported.

He has proposed that all informative and instructional literature issued by the council should be “replaced by an English version only,” suggesting that if it needs interpreting into a different language then people should pay for it themselves.

This system would “shorten the time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English, thereby helping integration,” he claimed, adding: “Any one requiring help will then understand that translation costs time and money, and that the applicant requiring this help will need to pay for this privilege."

Ukip councillor Alan Lay of Cambridge county council Councillor Lay claims that his idea would cause non-English migrants to use and learn the language, while referencing Culture Secretary Sajid Javid’s remarks earlier this year that migrants should “respect our way of life,” which includes “trying to learn English”.

“At present only foreign nationals have to pass a proficiency test, no EU members are required to do this,” Councillor Lay said.

“Integration has failed over the past 50 years, because there has been no encouragement to learn our language; it is obvious that this must change.”

He added: “The carrot has not worked - a stick is the answer.”

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