Chiefs don't know numbers of foreigners

TOWN chiefs have no idea how many foreign nationals are living in the town, The Evening Star has learned.New figures show close to 2,000 non-UK residents a year register to work in Ipswich, but the borough council says it has no idea how many are actually living in the town.

TOWN chiefs have no idea how many foreign nationals are living in the town, The Evening Star has learned.

New figures show close to 2,000 non-UK residents a year register to work in Ipswich, but the borough council says it has no idea how many are actually living in the town.

Between April 2006 and March this year some 1,900 foreign nationals sought permission to work in the borough compared with 1,810 the previous year - an increase of 4.98 per cent.

The statistics show the most common nationality applying for work in Ipswich are Polish people with 630 registering for a National Insurance card over the past year.

The next most common non-UK workers in the town are Indians with 530 registering in the past year.

The figures do not show where the non-UK residents live.

Most Read

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said the numbers of non-UK citizens moving to Ipswich is not recorded and do not effect the way in which services are provided.

Nadia Cenci, responsible for communities at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We use information from the Census, National Insurance and worker registration schemes but the situation is fluid and people constantly move to Ipswich and from Ipswich.

“Along with our partners, we are in close touch with our communities and their leaders and we do our utmost to help them get access to any of our services they might need. But not everyone who comes here uses or wants to use our services; it is a mistake to assume that they do and that thinking can lead to stereotyping."

While figures on how many immigrants are in Ipswich are not kept, close watch is kept on the number of asylum seekers staying in the town.

Last month the Star revealed the number of asylum seekers in Ipswich has increased five-fold in the space of just six months.

At the end of June this year there were 50 asylum seekers being housed in Ipswich compared to 10 at the end of December 2006.

Ipswich is one of several towns in the region identified as a “dispersal zone” by central government and can be expected to accommodate up to 100 asylum seekers at any one time.

n.Do you think the council should know how many immigrants are living in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter