Suffolk asks for more migrant money
SUFFOLK today added its voice for calls for more government money to help authorities deal with increased numbers of migrants.Earlier this week the Local Government Association called for £250 million to be made available for councils to help deal with the cost of dealing with migrants - for instance in providing translation services and in providing special support in schools for children who do not have English as a first language.
SUFFOLK today added its voice for calls for more government money to help authorities deal with increased numbers of migrants.
Earlier this week the Local Government Association called for £250 million to be made available for councils to help deal with the cost of dealing with migrants - for instance in providing translation services and in providing special support in schools for children who do not have English as a first language.
Public protection spokeswoman Joanna Spicer said: "I support the findings of this Local Government Association report.
“Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to the local economy, but like other parts of the country, Suffolk has to cope with an increasing demand for support such as translation and interpretation services and support for children in schools.
“The Government really must recognise and compensate councils like ours for the additional costs and demands that migrant workers generate.
She added: "We have a detailed action plan in place in Suffolk to respond to the challenges and opportunities migration has brought to Suffolk.
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“Managing migration across the county already involves all district and borough councils, police, as well as voluntary and community sector organisations".
Jane Basham, director of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality(ISCRE), said: "We are providing specialist advice to migrant workers on exploitation and harassment issues that they may be suffering in the work place".
Ipswich MP Chris Mole, who is also parliamentary private secretary to the local government minister, said councils were getting one per cent above inflation increases in grants this year and it was for them to decide how this money was spent.
“If they want an extra grant for these services, the money for that has to come from somewhere. Do they want it removed from other government services?” he said.
Meanwhile, government figures today showed the amount of money spent on providing services for asylum seekers in Suffolk has fallen dramatically over the last six years.
Last year Suffolk County Council spent £121,000 on asylum seekers - which was reimbursed by central government - down from a high figure of £1,024,000 in 2000/1.
The figures were obtained by Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley in a written reply from immigration minister Liam Byrne.