Immigrant workers indispensable, reveals poll campaigning

Farmers in South Holldand, Deepings say immigrants essential for survival

21st April 2010: Election campaigning has only established what is commonly believed.

Labour’s candidate Gareth Gould says his interaction with the farming community in the run-up to the polls has made it abundantly clear that they consider immigrant workers to be indispensable.

Gould is among the candidates fighting for the South Holland and the Deepings. He is contesting the election along with Conservative John Hayes, who has held the Lincolnshire constituency since the 1997 election, and Liberal Democrat candidate Jenny Conroy.

Candidates so far announced in South Holldand and the Deepings include: Conservative: John Hayes; Labour: Gareth Gould; Liberal Democrat: Jennifer Conroy; Green: Ashley Baxter; UK Independence Party: Richard Fairman; British National Party: Roy Harbon.

Almost all the candidates believe education and immigration are crucial factors.

After interaction with the voters, Gould said many local farmers relied on immigrant workers; and were indeed considered indispensable by many farmers in the constituency.

Gould said he was speaking to farmers from the Spalding National Farmers Union branch. The farmers said they couldn’t survive without the immigration, particularly from Eastern Europe, from that part of the EU, who were absolutely key to filling slots in agricultural labour.

Nearly an eighth of the largely fenland constituency employees work in agriculture and horticulture – the third highest figure in England – and the other main industries are agriculture related: food-processing and road haulage.

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