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Number of Eastern Europeans in Gloucestershire has increased by more than six times in the last decade

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 13, 2014

Comments (20)

NEW figures show the number of Eastern Europeans living in Gloucestershire increased by more than six times over the course of a decade.

Figures from the 2011 census show that approximately 9,300 Eastern Europeans were living in the county, compared with around 1,500 in 2001.

The amount accounted for almost half of the 20,000 EU migrants who had set up home in the county, the equivalent of about three per cent of the county’s population.

Official figures released this week are expected to show tens of thousands of Eastern European migrants have moved to Britain for work in the past year.

Councillor Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, pictured, said: “There are a lot of Eastern Europeans who come here to work hard and fill gaps across our jobs market. Gloucestershire is a welcoming place, and people from India, the West Indies and Ukraine are valued parts of our community.

“However, some people feel that this country has seen too much immigration over the past decade but they welcome people so long as they don’t take the taxpayer for a ride.”

University of Oxford economists predict the figures will show that around 30,000 more Romanians and Bulgarians were working in the UK in the first three months of this year than during the same period in 2013.

Raz Bavlovcak, a 23-year-old chef who is also from Slovakia, has lived in Gloucester for four years.

He said: “My friend came here and he found me a job, so that is why I am here. I like the people here, they are really friendly. I like living in a small city like Gloucester as there are better jobs and a better quality of life here than at home.”

Slovak Katarina Rabekova, 30, came to England to live with her partner Tomas Teslicka, 30, in 2006. Ms Rabekova, who shops at Czechland in Northgate Street, said: “I absolutely love England and that is why I moved here. Love brought me here. Tomas bought me a plane ticket and that was it. People don’t think so badly about immigrants than what they used to.”

Bartosz Nowicki, who runs Polish community website Polonia Gloucester, said Gloucestershire is a very welcoming place for the Polish community.

He said: “In England you can cope even if you are on a basic wage, which isn’t always possible in Poland. British people are very friendly.”

But Mike Smith, chairman of UKIP’s Gloucester city branch, pictured, said: “With rising immigration we’ve had to build many more houses and now we’re having to build on green belts.

“We are also seeing public services being put under increasing pressure, particularly NHS accident and emergency departments.

“It has also meant that there is more traffic on the roads and it’s had an effect on local people being able to get jobs and it’s pushing down wages.”

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  • MrGarnet  |  May 20 2014, 7:54PM

    The crime figures http://tinyurl.com/lvc6ldx

    |   2
  • 8589brian  |  May 20 2014, 12:51PM

    It's no wonder people are looking to UKIP for solutions to the problem we now have with stretched services and general over crowding by a lot of people that come to Britain for a better life but among that is a lot of people here to raid the benefits system and bring criminality to new heights so it's about time we closed the borders and shut that damn tunnel.

    |   17
  • Hadagmaja  |  May 17 2014, 1:20PM

    It's the schools I worry about, particularly in Barton & Tredworth, where the English parents are pulling their children out if these schools because the English kids are in the minority. The head teachers are banging their heads against a brick wall because they can't get any extra funding for language workers and in one school, Widden, there are upwards of 30 different languages spoken. How can this be sustainable? I used to work in the education sector and the schools can't cope any more!

    |   27
  • scruff_top  |  May 14 2014, 6:30PM

    "Not all of them integrate into British society, they have their own society and ethnics. We are have become a DUMPING ground" Quite Literally in Barton and Tredworth

    |   24
  • derekmd  |  May 14 2014, 3:21PM

    This may have something to do with two of the big employment agencies in the Stroud area having east european managers...

    |   38
  • timmy0811  |  May 14 2014, 1:35PM

    Not all of them integrate into British society, they have their own society and ethnics. We are have become a dumping ground.

    |   25
  • RoadWombat  |  May 13 2014, 10:31PM

    Jas - UKIP aren't against immigration from Eastern Europe (or anywhere else for that matter!). What they are against is wholesale, open door immigration whereby anyone, regardless of their skills, can come here to take whatever job they want or claim benefits. By putting European immigrants on the same level playing field as everyone else from outside the EU, the system becomes fair. If an industry (say nursing/care as an example) NEEDS foreign workers to fill a shortfall, then they are welcome. What on earth can be wrong with being able to filter out the criminals, benefit -seekers and non-contributors before they get here? If you ran a company, you'd interview the applicants and choose the best - it's no different.

    |   29
  • uk_socrates  |  May 13 2014, 9:44PM

    @jas37, interesting post, but these statistics are always hidden from the public, so its difficult to make out the economic benefits. ALSO......a lot of foreign workers save their money and usually send some back home to family members, they are typically not massive spenders either (I doubt there is any statistics on this). Another example is Filipino workers who send huge amounts of money back home. Sadly I dont think there has been enough research into the economic behavior of foreign workers. Also lets not forget there is an unknown percentage that work here illegally and thus dont pay income tax or NIC. Also a lot of foreign workers are typically on minimum wage from what i can make out.......(again no hard statistics to back this up) so the actual tax contribution is likely to be minimal, combine this with low levels of spending within the local economy, actually a good argument could be made that they bring no net gain to the local economy. Meanwhile British people who refuse to work are a massive drain on both the economy and taxes, as British people are entitled to all benefits.

    |   5
  • jas37  |  May 13 2014, 8:50PM

    Are those people that are against immigration from Eastern European Counties willing to pay substantially more tax to make up the shortfall in Public finances that would exist if the Eastern Europeans weren't here. All of the major Political Parties are aware that these Immigrants on average contribute far more to the Public coffers than the average British born resident (and take far less out)- between £3000 and £4000 more according to evidence that the Government is sitting on- no doubt because they are aware that many don't like hearing the facts if it doesn't agree with their own views. Of course many people will ignore these facts because it's not what they want to here. When a Tory MP was asked by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight why the Government were not making these facts more Public the MP said something along he lines of " we couldn't lead up to European Elections telling people how good Immigration has been for the Country". He of course realises that large numbers of the Public only want to hear what they want to here- the truth doesn't win votes.

    |   -60
  • Richardburton  |  May 13 2014, 7:35PM

    Many do come here to find jobs and do speak english .. unlike the ones that are signing on and have to have people translating everything the job centre advisor is telling them! I thought you couldn't get unemployment money if you couldn't speak english in England?

    |   19