Town sees biggest influx of migrants

goole is bearing the brunt of immigration in the East Riding, with one out of every five births in the town this year being to parents born outside the UK.

Despite the absence of "clear data" to accurately assess the number of economic migrants to East Yorkshire, it is widely accepted that Goole has been the most affected.

In 2007, 99.3 per cent of the population of Goole, which was 19,000, described themselves as white British, but is estimated that in just three years economic migrants now represent 15 per cent of the population.

Their number is estimated at 3,000 and they are largely from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal.

A total of 234 children attending schools and children's centres in Goole have English as an additional language, and there are about 800 migrants registered at the two GP practices in the town.

Yet the influx of migrants to Goole has been met with only "limited" additional funding to support the services most affected, a report to East Riding Council shows.

The council was given a grant of 190,000 from the Government's Migration Impact Fund, and this has been used to fund a migrant engagement team, made of three part-time workers who between them are fluent in Portuguese, Polish, German, Russian, Lithuanian and Latvian.

The council has failed to identify any other sources of funding after having two bids rejected recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Help the Homeless.

Some of the biggest pressures have been on housing and last year a number of migrants were sleeping rough in Goole.

A church hall was converted to a drop-in centre, giving migrants a chance to shower, wash and dry their clothes and have a hot meal.

Some migrants were sub-letting properties, leading to dangerous overcrowding, although a crackdown over the last two years has improved this.