Freedom of Wisbech honour to be bestowed on former MP who, nine years ago, warned of an “immigration meltdown” in Fenland
- Credit: Archant
Former MP Malcolm Moss – who warned nine years ago that the area was “on the brink of an immigration meltdown”- has been nominated to receive the Freedom of Wisbech.
The proposal was put to Wisbech Town Council last night to honour the man who, until he retired in 2010, had been MP for NE Cambs for 23 years.
The council was also asked to confer the Freedom of the Town upon ex service motorcyclists from the Royal British Legion Riders for their work locally.
Freedom of Wisbech has only been bestowed five times previously - to the Royal Anglia Regiment, the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, former mayor and county councillor Richard Barnwell, paralympian Jody Cundy and oarsman James Crowden, who in 1951 was part of the winning team in the Cambridge Oxford boat race.
The nomination of former Conservative MP Mr Moss has been called “an interesting move in the run up to an election” by independent councillor Virginia Bucknor.
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Councillor Sam Hoy proposed Mr Moss, who was a former Wisbech mayor, town councillor for four years, Fenland District councillor for four years and a county councillor for three years, all in the 1980s.
She said: “Sometimes in politics it feels like we forget about people who have served our local area. We want to say thank you for all his hard work.”
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But Cllr Mrs Bucknor said: “There was no discussion. The Tories voted for it and all the other councillors abstained. I would like to know what he did for Wisbech. It’s an interesting move.”
In 2006 Mr Moss said the area was on the brink of immigration meltdown and warned that communities would suffer if the influx of foreign workers continued unabated.
“If you listen to what people are saying on the streets, the repeated comment is ‘enough is enough,” he said.
“Local people will only stand so much - it would be foolish and irresponsible of politicians to ignore these comments.”
Mr Moss joined fellow Conservative ministers in calling for tighter controls on the entry of workers when Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007.
Mr Moss held various posts, both in Government and opposition, including working as a junior Northern Ireland minister. Later posts including being shadow minister for culture and media.
After leaving politics he became chairman of the National Casino Industry Forum to lobby against what he described as “outdated” gaming laws.
Freedom of Wisbech is also expected to be conferred on The RBL Riders. They are brought together by their enthusiasm for motorcycling, and a willingness to support the aims and charitable efforts of The Royal British Legion.
A team of their motorcyclists are making their way around the graves of First World War soldiers to lay a poppy at each one as part of the Cambridgeshire 876 Remembered project, which is visiting all of the county’s regiment personnel who died in the Great War.
They will be visiting the Wisbech Mount Pleasant cemetery graves this year.