Our town’s like a foreign country and locals can’t cope with the immigrants, says mother after TV clash with academic on Question Time
- Office worker Rachel Bull challenged leading historian Mary Beard on the impact of immigration on her Lincolnshire
- The academic dismissed claims the town is being overwhelmed by migrant workers as ‘myths’, but Mrs Bull insists Boston is ‘at breaking point’
By JOHN STEVENS
PUBLISHED: 23:54, 18 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:50, 19 January 2013
A mother who tackled a leading historian on live television about immigration insisted last night that her family’s home town has become like a ‘foreign country’.
On BBC1’s Question Time, Professor Mary Beard dismissed stories about the number of migrant workers overwhelming Boston as ‘myths’ and said ‘public services can cope’.
But Rachel Bull, an office manager in Boston, who was in the audience, immediately challenged the Cambridge University classics professor, claiming hospitals and schools are struggling to cope in the Lincolnshire agricultural town.
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Clash: Office worker Rachel Bull, left, challenged Professor Mary Beard, right, on Question Time when the historian dismissed claims that Boston is being overwhelmed by migrant workers
Mrs Bull – whose grandparents moved to Britain from Poland after the Second World War – said that she is not against immigration, but believes ministers should reconsider allowing Romanians and Bulgarians unrestricted rights to live and work in the UK from December 2013.
After Professor Beard – known to millions for the BBC2 series Meet the Romans – told Question Time on Thursday night she believed local services in Boston are able to cope, Mrs Bull raised her hand and said: ‘I’m sorry, I really disagree.’
She told the panel, which was sitting in Lincoln: ‘I have a business in Boston, I have family that live in Boston and we’ve got land at Boston and we’ve had major issues with workers who’ve got nowhere to go, camping on our land and we can’t move them off because the police aren’t interested. Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can’t cope any more – the services, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals.
‘I have a family member that’s a midwife at Boston Pilgrim Hospital. The facilities are at breaking point because of these people coming into the country and nothing is being done. You go down to Boston High Street and it’s just like you’re in a foreign country. And it’s got to stop.’
Yesterday Mrs Bull said that Boston, which has a population of around 61,000, is too small to cope with such a large number of migrants, now thought to number 9,000.
She added: ‘The problem is we’re not like these politicians or other people on television, we’re on the frontline. I’ve not been to university, I’m just a 35-year-old who spoke from the heart.’
Mrs Bull, whose family has a retirement home business, said she is worried that more migrants from Romania and Bulgaria will make the problems worse.
She said many workers head to the area on the promise of work, but end up without employment or money.
Mrs Bull, who has a 10-year-old son, said: ‘They are going to come to Boston because of the landworkers, the farms and agriculture, that’s where they would get work.
‘But we’ve got so many homeless on the streets, this town has so many problems that are just being swept under the carpet and the locals are crying out. Someone needs to help us.
‘I don’t want it to be about them and us. We all want to work together as one, but when resources are stretched that’s when the animosity starts, and we don’t want that.’ Mrs Bull, who now lives elsewhere in Lincolnshire, said her family has had repeated problems with migrants camping on their land and that it has been impossible to get help from the authorities and police to move them.
She said: ‘My dad and brother used to go there every day as my dad speaks Polish, to explain to them that they have to move on because we were getting complaints from environmental health, and local residents were complaining about the mess they were leaving. There were empty bottles, human faeces, needles.
‘We felt sorry for them as there was a young couple who had been promised work, they’d been dropped off in Boston, had their passports taken off them, they had no money, and they were just left stranded.
‘We gave them a bit of money for them to get some food and drink to help them out, but the numbers just grew.’
Mrs Bull’s grandfather was a flight sergeant who fought for Britain, flying Lancaster Bombers and Mosquitoes.
She said her family is proud of its background and enjoy pierogi – traditional dumplings – from the local Polish shops.
She said: ‘We just want help from the Government, and we want them to reconsider when the Romanians and the Bulgarians come in.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2264799/Our-towns-like-foreign-country-Locals-cope-immigrants-says-mother-TV-clash-academic.html#ixzz2IRLvS8kg
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