FENLAND: Council promises action plan to tackle integration of migrant workers and families

AN action plan is being developed to tackle the integration of migrant workers and their families into Fenland. It is recognised that an integrated cohesion strategy for Fenland needs to be developed, says David Bailey, traveller and diversity manager.

AN action plan is being developed to tackle the integration of migrant workers and their families into Fenland.

"It is recognised that an integrated cohesion strategy for Fenland needs to be developed," says David Bailey, traveller and diversity manager.

In January more than 200 migrants called at Fenland District Council's one stop shop in Wisbech looking for advice ranging from education, legal protection in respect of housing and employment and accessing mental health services for those who have fled persecution.

The council employs two migrant population advisers who from July 2007 to March 2008 saw 1,386 customers. One MPA who speaks several eastern European languages was able to translate on 80 occasions making it a cost saving service, says Mr Bailey.


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Members of the council's overview and scrutiny committee will hear on Thursday that over the last five years there have been significant changes in the ethnic and cultural diversity of the population.

Issues already identified include poor quality rented accommodation, lack of information on how the health service works, racial harassment with significant reluctance to report incidents, and inadequate provision in schools of language and cultural support.

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Mr Bailey believes the council will need to study how they can the economy, the civic life and cultural and social life of Fenland can benefit from the wave of new people.

He also says there are "potential tensions between different communities as a result of perceived inequalities in access to services and resources".

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