Councils seek clarity on numbers of migrant workers needing services

Growing numbers of migrant workers may require social services and current funding does not reflect this need, the Local Government Association said yesterday.

The LGA is seeking more accurate information on how many migrant workers from EU accession states councils must cater for when planning services including social work, schools and housing.

“There are a number of local authorities for whom the current system of measuring the number of migrants in specific council areas is failing to ensure adequate funding to keep council services to local people maintained,” said LGA chairman Sandy Bruce-Lockhart in a letter to home secretary John Reid.

“Councils are finding it difficult to provide services to growing populations that are not recognised by government statistics,” he added.

Slough Council has predicted a six per cent increase in council tax on top of inflation to cope with demand for services, said Bruce-Lockhart.

Although emphasising that local authorities welcome migrants, the letter asks what limits will be placed on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria when both countries joint the EU next year.

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