DCSIMG

Commons plea to end tensions

Page Hall Roma Feature PC Kevin Subley and PC Steven Hemsley on the streets of Page Hall

Page Hall Roma Feature PC Kevin Subley and PC Steven Hemsley on the streets of Page Hall

Government support was promised this week after the plight of some of Sheffield’s poorer communities in the wake of the arrival of Roma Slovaks was highlighted in the Commons.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the Government was working on a package to improve services to encourage better community integration.

Issues surrounding immigration, housing, education and health around Fir Vale/Page Hall and Darnall/Tinsley were raised by city MP Clive Betts.

He said councils needed more flexibility to regulate standards of private rented accommodation, and to end “horror stories” such as bare and dangerous wires.

Tensions have been running high in Page Hall since the arrival of about 2,000 mainly Slovak Roma over the past two years, and Mr Betts said councils were best placed to stop scams that “undermine the working conditions and job opportunities of existing residents and cause a lot of grievance in the local community.”

He said: “It is not racism to oppose such things; it is about people saying ‘My job is being undercut; my conditions are being undercut; it simply isn’t fair.’”

Migrants from the poorer parts of the EU were also often victims, having unskilled and low paid jobs and paying inflated rents in “grossly overcrowded housing”.

Mr Betts and fellow MP David Blunkett are to meet Mr Pickles to hear his ideas.

 

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