MPs warn of 'disturbances' over migrants

Wednesday 16 July 2008 00:00
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Community tensions over immigration levels could escalate into disturbances without urgent Government action, say MPs. They protested that schools, hospital, police and social services in some areas had not been given enough money to cope with the rapid influx. The pace of change had also produced resentment in some parts of England – particularly those that were less prosperous and had little previous experience of immigration. The Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee said different ethnic groups integrated well in many districts. But it also pointed to research that showed migration had overtaken crime and terrorism as the public's biggest worry. It said: "The Government needs to take immediate action to address public concerns about migration and to defuse tensions before they lead to disturbances." The MPs called for more English lessons to be provided for newcomers, ensuring employers picked up the bills. They also backed a review into the impact of migration on housing. They said flawed population data meant town halls did not receive enough money to cope, suggesting that a contingency fund be set up to help. "The Government needs to ensure that local organisations, particularly local authorities, are adequately resourced," it concluded.

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