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House of Commons committee heads to Boston to study impact of population change

By Boston Target  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

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AN all-party committee from the House of Commons is to come to Boston to study the impact of population change.

The news follows a visit to the house of Commons by councillors Paul Kenny and Mike Gilbert, who were invited by MP Jack Dromey, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, to join the conference on Immigration to the Regions.

The conference looked at how immigration to the UK over the past decade has had diverse and substantial effects on communities and economies.

It also looked at how the debate about the regional effects of migration is often undermined by the lack of clear information indicating the benefits and costs of migration.

Councillor Kenny, chairman of Boston Borough Council's impact of population change task and finish group, said: "Boston Borough Council would like to thank the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration for inviting us to present a case study of Boston to their special hearing."

He told the conference about the population changes Boston has seen since 2004 and what the social impact of this has been. He also told them that the title of their hearing was very relevant to Boston as some local people have told the council that they do feel they are being left behind.

He also spoke about the 28 recommendations contained in the council's report and how the APPG could assist in getting the relevant Government ministers to take up some of the recommendations, including drinking on the streets, restricting the number of off-licences in certain areas, better registration and information about foreign vehicles being brought into the country.

Councillor Gilbert, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for community development, said: "It was important that we had opportunity to present the task and finish group's report direct to Government. It's credit to the council and the work of the task and finish group that the Government is taking it seriously and listening to our recommendations."

The council's in-depth population change report has been sent to Government and a number of influential national bodies and was compiled after evidence was taken from the police, employers, educators, the press, other councils in Lincolnshire, the MP, council enforcement and health departments and experts on migration and population change.

The census has already shown that Boston has had one of the highest percentage increases in population in the country - now officially 64,600, up from the 55,800 recorded by the 2001 census, and a 15.8 per cent increase.

Councillor Kenny is also meeting with shadow minister for social inclusion, Chris Williamson MP, to discuss the issues.

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