Gypsies ‘could fill job vacancies’

Roma people in Lincolnshire are invited to step into jobs left by Poles 15 January 2009 – Gypsies from countries including Romania and Bulgaria could be invited to Lincolnshire to take jobs previously filled by Eastern Europeans.

Gypsies and travellers could be persuaded to step into jobs left by Poles returning home. In Lincolnshire they have predominantly filled jobs in agriculture. Peter Robinson, portfolio holder for social cohesion at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "If, because of the downturn, we start to see fewer Eastern European migrant workers from Poland and so forth, it’s my personal view we could get replacements from Romania and Bulgaria."

He said Lincolnshire could extend a friendly hand to them saying "come to us and get a better deal".

"The main problem of course, whether we like it or not, is that gypsies and travellers are extremely unpopular people to have in the county," he added.

Peter Robinson was speaking during a meeting of the council’s local community development and partnerships policy development group, which held talks on a new pilot project to deliver extra housing-related support to gypsy and traveller communities already living here.

But in a written response issued via the council’s press office after the meeting, Coun Robinson said it only "might be the case that gypsies and travellers could take up the jobs that Eastern European migrants used to hold".

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