`Public services breaking down under immigration impact’: town councils

`Eastern European immigrants still here’

17th February 2010: The councils of three towns, affected by immigration after ex-communist countries joined the EU in 2004, are claiming they are struggling to cope with the impact of high immigration.

Even though the contribution of immigrants to the economy is well recognized, they have asserted that public services, schools and hospitals included, were under enormous strain’ and were starting to crack.

The council leaders also threw a challenge to the ministers’ claim that three-quarters of a million eastern European immigrants have gone home. They claimed there was evidence that eastern European couples were staying, and children were taking up places in schools. They added fear budget cuts will add to the problem.

Chief executive of Slough Council in Berkshire Ruth Bagley immigrants may not be arriving as quickly as in the past, but there was unsubstantiated proof to suggest more people were still coming, and staying back.

Peter Hiller of Peterborough City Council said the cracks were beginning to show in public services, as immigration continues.

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