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Boston tackles taboo subject

A Westminster conference has heard how Boston is leading the way on impact of immigration issues, rogue landlords and street drinking.

Cllr Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, and Cllr Paul Kenny, chairman of the group which published a report on the impact of population change in Boston, both spoke to MPs at the House of Commons in London.

The seminar of the East Midlands Strategic Migration Group, which Cllr Kenny chairs, with the East Midlands All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) of MPs and leaders of councils in the East Midlands, heard about efforts already being made in Boston to counter some of the negative impacts of population change.

Cllr Bedford said: "There was much interest in the work we are doing around rogue landlords, which is producing good results, and support for my appeal for Government funding for this for the next two years."

Alan Hardwick, Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, recommended the council's impact of population change report as essential reading. He said it pointed the way for issues requiring examination by any area experiencing population change.

Cllr Bedford said: "Boston is leading the way on this, working with rogue landlords and controls on street drinking. As a small borough in rural Lincolnshire we have tackled issues around a taboo subject which are now being taken up nationally by MPs and Government."

Cllr Kenny presented an overview of population change and local impact.

The summit brought together key decision-makers on migration at national and local level to identify and explore the key issues as they affect local communities and the provision of public services in the East Midlands. It will support the development of a report to be presented to Government in the summer.

Boston Borough Council has already received a national award from the national Centre for Public Scrutiny for its work on population change.

Cllr Paul Kenny, who chaired the in-depth investigation in Boston into the impact of population change, joined the Centre for Public Scrutiny judging panel to short list entries for this year's awards.