UKIP councillor wants translation services axed to “shorten time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English”

PUBLISHED: 17:27 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:27 02 September 2014

Cllr Alan Lay

Cllr Alan Lay


A UKIP councillor is calling for the abolition of all translation services by Cambridgeshire County Council in a bid to save £150,000 a year.

Councillor Alan Lay of Wisbech said today: “The county council should not be treated as a free translation secretarial service.”

Cllr Lay said that by ending translation services it would also “shorten the time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English, thereby helping integration”.

In a motion submitted to full council on September 18, Cllr Lay quotes from a statement made Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, the UK’s first Asian secretary of state.

Earlier this year Mr Javid – the son of Pakistani immigrants- criticised migrants who had lived here for years but either had not or would not learn English.

Cllr Lay said that Mr Javid had called for migrants to contribute to this country and respect the British way of life.

“In order to do that they must learn our language,” said Cllr Lay. “At present only foreign nationals have to pass a proficiency test, no EU members are required to do this.”

He is proposing that “all further informative and instructional literature issued by the county council be replaced by an English version only. If interpretation is required, this will be supplied by the county council at a cost to the recipient.”

Cllr Lay said his proposal would also

•Encourage non English migrants to use and learn our language.

•Help them to understand our culture.

•Save approximately £150,000 per year in interpretation costs.

He said: “Any one requiring help will then understand that translation costs time and money, and that the applicant requiring this help will need to pay for this privilege.

“Integration has failed over the past 50 years, because there has been no encouragement to learn our language; it is obvious that this must change.”

Cllr Lay added: “The carrot has not worked- a stick is the answer.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email your reactions to Cllr Lay’s proposal to


  • Once again UKIP go for the simplistic solution driven primarily by their own narrow prejudices. Today we live in a collective society, we pay taxes so that services are provided for the whole community even if as individuals this may not immediately be a need or service used by us or are families. This might be home-help, community transport, or in this case translation services. Whilst UKIP and their followers continue to refuse to accept any positives from migration the majority of people who come to this country do work and PAY TAXES. They are entitled to public services, and it will be clear that support in providing language services reduces the time and therefore cost in providing other services through misunderstanding needs for example. It has repeatedly been stated that in The Fens the food production and agriculture sectors are wholly reliant on migration - some of it seasonal - and again businesses also pay taxes which contribute to public services. There may be a case for large employers to make more of an effort in supporting language lessons, either directly or otherwise, but it is usual that most migrants are on minimal wages and would struggle to find money themselves. However, if there is reasoned debate to be had don't expect UKIP to participate - far easier to much usual sweeping generalisations to make even sub headlines.

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    Dean Reeves

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • What ever happened to being inclusive councilors are voted in to serve the community not the majority. After all at the end of the day we are all human beings its important that we are inclusive of everyone what ever their race or nationality. I for one will not exclude anyone as our county has been built on imigration after all history will tell us we are all from different parts of the world.

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    richard bell

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • A translation service should be available...... but anyone requiring it should pay for ir, not the rest of us mugs!

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    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Translators should be dismissed immediately - not just in your area but thought the whole of UK - what other country in the world dives such a service - they don't - far more important things to spend all that money on

    Report this comment

    Flopsie1000 .

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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