My initial search on Google, was ‘Migrant population Lincolnshire’. The body of results that came up presented titles such as ‘Boston: THE most segregated town in the UK’ express.co.uk, ‘Migrant influx divides Lincolnshire town’ ft.com and ‘Boston: How a Lincolnshire town became the most divided place in England’ independent.co.uk, which was an overwhelming theme across all of the news links that came up on the first page. Boston is a small town and port, with a population of 67,000, which has grown from 35,000 in 2001. A report in the sun in 2008, stated that Boston has the highest number of immigrants per capita of any town in Britain, with an estimates 1/4 of the population being immigrants. Boston originally attratced foreigners in the 19th century from the thriving port, made by its trading and fishing centre, then in the past 40 years the demand for darmers. The huge influx began in 2004 when Britain opened its labour market to workers from 10 new EU members.
A report by the mirror that divides immigrants in to areas of Britain, says that both Peterborough and Boston are hotspots for immigrants outside of London, which holds the highest percentage of immigrants. In these areas, 17% of residents were born in another EU country, dubbing Boston as the most Eastern European town in Britain, after it came out that it had the largest number of non-British EU passport holders outside of London.
Looking at an article from Express, it suggests that Boston is the most segregated town in England. The article goes in to detail about the amount of Polish shops that have emerged, constantly being served by Polish barmaids and queing behind a Russian to be served by a Luithian. Policy exchanged put out numbers that it was the least-intergrated community in England, followed by neighbours in Lincolnshire, Spalding and Wisbech, the ‘fens’ where a high percentage of the farming happens. It briefley focuses on the farm land, stating that migrants come to work on the fens, as although they often get paid minimum wage of £6.21 for a 39 hour week (242 a week), compares to wages in their home country, it is a small fortune.
What draws so many people from so far away to an ordinary market town? Work. The Fens are where much of our potatoes, cabbages and broccoli are grown in fl at fi elds. If they are lucky they are paid the minimum agricultural wage of £6.21 an hour for a 39-hour week spent harvesting and packing (that is £242 a week before tax) but compared to wages back home that is a small fortune. In Latvia the average weekly wage is just £132.
The independent uses quotes from local people in their article ‘Boston: How a Lincolnshire town became ‘the most divided place in England’;
“I have nowt to do with them,” one of the traders, an Englishman, hard at work in Boston’s central market square said, indicating the local immigrants wandering past. He, like so many others, who did not want to be named, highlighted an “us and them” attitude that many in the area feel.
“If you want to see the difference in this town, take a walk along West Street. They have got nearly all the shops along there now. People are bothered by immigration because of the size of the town. It’s ridiculous how many shops and supermarkets they have.”
Interestingly, it points out that ‘Boston and Skegness was one of Ukip’s top five target seats at the last general election.’ It demonstrates that immigration in Boston is clearly a problem for many people, espically locals.
The BBC has shown the statistics of Boston, and Lincolnshire population growth. Boston is double the national average, with its neighbouring east midlands being much lower, Lincolnshire as a whole having a high rate but Boston having an exceptionally high rate of population growth. This may be because ‘displacement’ here is not a problem, as the the unemployment rate is well below national average, -4.4% against 5.2% nationally. Although the forgein work force has bought the average hourly wage down, on a weekly basis, full time earnings are more than £100 a week les than the national average.
From this research, the statistics are much higher than i had thought. I knew that immigration was a huge thing in Lincolnshire, but i thought the hype around it from locals would of built up the situation. But the immigration in the area is extremely high, causing fricton in the community and in work places. I feel like this makes it a good place to do my migrant project, as people are fueled with opinions and facts on the situation.