The decision to build a 31-bed hostel in Balby to accommodate asylum seekers is of no assistance to an area of Doncaster already suffering too much home-grown anti- social behaviour and an influx of ‘open-door’ eastern European migrants which appears to have aggravated the problems.
While this country has a long and proud history of successfully assimilating genuine asylum seekers, we are now living in different times when mass migration has become widely unacceptable.
Local politicians should therefore take care not to exacerbate genuine worries about immigration by inflicting further numbers on already struggling communities. It was gratifying to see local Balby Labour councillor John Healy recently drawing attention to the concerns of his constituents about pressures on local services, particularly education and health.
He also pointed out that more prosperous areas are not taking their fair share. Cameron and Osborne’s constituencies, for example, have welcomed no asylum seekers at all.
Doncaster Council claims the Government decides where asylum seekers are housed but it is the council, in this case elected mayor Ros Jones, who decides if we should take any at all.
She has opted to take 296 without looking at the fairness of the quota and without insisting that we decide where in the borough to place them – based on this one-sided approach we previously accepted none.
The much touted council phrase: “We’re all in this together” only seems to apply to the poorer parts of the borough.
It seems increasingly to be a tale of two Doncasters with some areas not considered worthy for such delights as the expensive Tour de Yorkshire, despite all residents paying many thousands of pounds for it and subsidising clean-ups in the flashier areas where cyclists were made welcome.
But when large numbers of European immigrants come to Balby, Hexthorpe and Hyde Park, there are no intelligent attempts to address the inevitable fallout.
As usual Doncaster Council has shown no backbone in dealing with the asylum problem and has allowed the Government to ride roughshod over our local communities and their needs.
Such a lily-livered approach threatens the excellent race relations that the town has enjoyed for many years.
There has been no meaningful consultation with the residents involved who feel increasingly abandoned and voiceless.
Dancing to Cameron’s tune does nothing to benefit Doncaster.