Derby 'needs more cash to pay for migrants' - with poll
THE Government should give Derby more cash to cover the cost of European migrants coming to the city, claim city council officials.
The authority now plans to "actively and persuasively" lobby Whitehall for the money to help create better housing and more school places to help with the problem.
Officials will also "open dialogue with Brussels" as they say Roma people often flee Eastern Europe to the UK because they suffer racist persecution and want to know why the European Union is not doing more to stop the problem.
And leading city councillor Ranjit Banwait said it was important to improve liaison with migrants already in the city.
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Also known as Gypsies, the Roma have long been targeted by racists, including the Nazis during the Second World War.
Scores of them are expected to be among Bulgarian and Romanian migrants coming into Derby next year, under new European "freedom of movement" rules.
Andrew Thomas, head of partnerships and communities, said: "We have a policy gap in Europe and a policy gap at national Government level. There is a pressure on public services as we've got more people coming into the community and we are not getting any financial support for that at all."
Pop Gill, a city council senior neighbourhood manager, said: "There's no funding in place to support migrants in Europe but there is for migrants from outside."
The comments come as the council draws up a plan aimed at helping Roma people integrate into Derby society.
It will target problem areas such as irresponsible private landlords who allow Roma to live in poor conditions, and dealing with fly-tipping from Roma households with more recycling education.
Mr Banwait, the city council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said one key area to improve on was having contact with Roma leaders who could pass on information to their communities.
He said this was difficult as they had a number of different "clans" and no obvious focal point to communicate with. But he said that proper "community cohesion" would not be achieved without Government investment.
He said: "We need funding to invest in housing, schools and education and health services."
Nobody at the Department for Communities and Local Government was available to comment.
STORY SPARKS LIVELY WEB DEBATE
CHRIS Mallett's story yesterday on the problems faced by JET sparked a lively debate on thisisderbyshire.co.uk
One poster, called Sherlock, said: "The simple fact is that there are not enough jobs for British people, let alone economic migrants. They don't come here to work, they come here for the benefits, and the sooner we stop allowing them to claim the better."
Philanthropic said: "Who agreed to this happening? None other than dear Mrs Margaret Thatcher, when she signed the Shengen Agreement in 1985 and the Shengen Convention in 1990."
Grubmuncher said: "99% immigrants from the EU have jobs and pay more taxes and National Insurance Contributions not like other British".
ProudBrit1 said: "Shame the Labour Government didn't have the courage to tell the indigenous people to do these menial jobs that the immigrants do. If they did there wouldn't be any jobs for them to come here for."
Tamas suggested: "No foreigner should be allowed in this country unless they already have a job lined up. Quite a simple solution to one of this country's biggest problems really."