UKIP councillor wants translation services axed to “shorten time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English”
17:27 02 September 2014
A UKIP councillor is calling for the abolition of all translation services by Cambridgeshire County Council in a bid to save £150,000 a year.
Councillor Alan Lay of Wisbech said today: “The county council should not be treated as a free translation secretarial service.”
Cllr Lay said that by ending translation services it would also “shorten the time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English, thereby helping integration”.
In a motion submitted to full council on September 18, Cllr Lay quotes from a statement made Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, the UK’s first Asian secretary of state.
Earlier this year Mr Javid – the son of Pakistani immigrants- criticised migrants who had lived here for years but either had not or would not learn English.
Cllr Lay said that Mr Javid had called for migrants to contribute to this country and respect the British way of life.
“In order to do that they must learn our language,” said Cllr Lay. “At present only foreign nationals have to pass a proficiency test, no EU members are required to do this.”
He is proposing that “all further informative and instructional literature issued by the county council be replaced by an English version only. If interpretation is required, this will be supplied by the county council at a cost to the recipient.”
Cllr Lay said his proposal would also
•Encourage non English migrants to use and learn our language.
•Help them to understand our culture.
•Save approximately £150,000 per year in interpretation costs.
He said: “Any one requiring help will then understand that translation costs time and money, and that the applicant requiring this help will need to pay for this privilege.
“Integration has failed over the past 50 years, because there has been no encouragement to learn our language; it is obvious that this must change.”
Cllr Lay added: “The carrot has not worked- a stick is the answer.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email your reactions to Cllr Lay’s proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org