anyone from peterborough,cambs

  sunnystaines 09:17 10 Apr 10
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Is it really that bad, or is this story over hyped?

would be nice to hear from someone living there.

  Quickbeam 09:19 10 Apr 10

I've been tricked into reading an election headline...

  sunnystaines 09:36 10 Apr 10

I was not interested in the politics bit, ignore that bit. just hard to see peterborogh could be so bad, I have never been there any wonder why they all head there.

  johndrew 10:05 10 Apr 10

Maybe slightly hyped but basically true in content. I could add other facts affecting many residents if both the city and the surrounding areas but it would do little to ease the problem.

  Forum Editor 10:06 10 Apr 10

and is magnificent, as is Peterborough Cathedral.

I imagine that the surrounding areas of farm-land mean a fairly large immigrant population, and that has probably put increased pressure on Peterborough's social services infrastructure. A primary school with 675 pupils speaking 27 different languages between them is going to be a challenge, to put it mildly.

  numskull 11:00 10 Apr 10

Yes it is that bad!

  Snec 11:24 10 Apr 10

I was brought up in a village just 17 miles from Peterborough and Peterborough is where I did my (welding) apprenticeship. I know the area well.

Strangely, the problems Peterborough has today all started because of clay. The right sort of clay from which to make bricks.

From 1945 to the 1960s the demand for labour in the brickyards following the war had a great effect on the population of the surrounding towns and villages.

There was full employment back then with many engineering companies in and around Peterborough (Perkins alone employed many thousands) paying good money and people had a choice.

After the war most had no wish to work in the filth of the brick kilns. The work was strenuous. The shift work with its unsociable hours and little mechanisation to alleviate the laborious toil was not wanted, or needed, by the local worforce. The wages were low.

As the brickyards grew, many prisoners of war who had been working on farms went to work at the brick pits. The brick companies built hostels for them and the other European Volunteer Workers who came from displaced persons camps throughout Europe, principally Poland and the Ukraine. There was a mass migration from the south of Italy to Peterborough. The brick companies, desperate for labour, set up recruitment offices in Naples. By 1955, 92% of male Italian migrants arrived on brickwork contracts.

As time moved on many left the brick works for easier and better paid jobs. These people were replaced by immigrants from India, Pakistan and the West Indies.

That, in a nutshell, is how the problems Peterborough has all got started.

  Quickbeam 11:57 10 Apr 10

Am I right in thinking that the children of the early post war immigrants would have leant English at school with no choice?

In which case the example of 27 languages in a school is a failure of society, both the immigrant society in wanting to preserve the old homeland ways, and the local education people in being too frightened to enforce the obvious need for children to become fluent in the national language, for fear of 'offending' a different people.

Retaining your ethnic language should be up to the ethnic community to do in extra time after state school time. Without a fluent capability in whatever language your new country uses, you will always be an outsider living in a ghetto, never to integrate properly, or to be accepted fully by the local community.

  octal 12:49 10 Apr 10

I'm not sure why they pick on Peterborough, 65% of people in our area of London are immigrant, it is unusual to hear English spoken on the London Underground these days, it is all supposed to enhance my cultural awareness, it probably would if I could understand a word they were saying.

  Snec 12:59 10 Apr 10

You're right, and that is just what happens.

As I said above, I was there. Some simply did not want to integrate whilst others made a great effort to do so. These I admired, even as a youngster, because it really was an effort for them due to intolerance and ignorance. But you do have to bear in mind that this was just after the war.

I can still recall the verbal abuse the imigrants had to take in the factory where I was an apprentice. They were employed as labourers mainly. The ones that got through it developed a sense of humour to cope with the abuse and would give as good as they got and eventually did become integrated and accepted, in the true sense, but it took years.

They wanted wanted to be British though. It is those that didn't, and don't, that cause the problems.

  wee eddie 13:01 10 Apr 10

Horticulture.

It employs huge numbers of Immigrant Workers, primarily because they will work harder and for less than the Locals.

I do not blame the Locals as the work is almost all part time, occasional/seasonal and frequently in conditions that are inhospitable in the extreme.

Thereby, with a large, transient, population of Foreign Labourers, it must skew all the best predictive abilities/attempts of the Local Authorities when it comes to Housing and Schooling. Also as many of the Transient labourers are young, Medical and Maternity Services are also, a mite, unpredictable.

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