‘Gillick Report’ on Fenland- and Wisbech in particular- claims unrestricted immigration has left us ‘ignored, neglected and vilified’

Victoria Gillick took the microphone to address a protest rally over immigation held in Wisbech Park

Victoria Gillick took the microphone to address a protest rally over immigation held in Wisbech Park in 2013. - Credit: Archant

Campaigner Victoria Gillick has delivered a 20 page dossier to election candidates supporting her claim that unrestricted immigration has left Fenland- and Wisbech in particular- “ignored, neglected and vilified”.

The 68 year-old mother of 10, married to UKIP county councillor Gordon Gillick, says her report has taken three years to compile. She has sent copies to every candidate in the forthcoming elections and to Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

“Fenland’s troubles began, as so many untoward outcomes have begun, with the European Union stipulating unfettered movement of people between member states,” she says.

“Our government eagerly complied and our public authorities obligingly co-operated”.

Mrs Gillick says that by using a mix of Freedom of Information requests and trawling through hundreds of public documents she believes the result has been “dire outcomes for Wisbech since 2002.

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“By encouraging the immigration of cheap foreign labour, which Fenland authorities endorsed, we have allowed farmers and local multinational food businesses to create an ultra low wage economy in Fenland”.

She believes Fenland’s population and that of Wisbech has been seriously understated.

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“Most migrants ignored the 2011 Census” she says. “By 2014 the population of Wisbech had in fact risen by over 10,000 – 63 per cent. Yet the census had the migrant population increase as a mere 1,241. Utter nonsense of course; there were so many thousands more than this. Nevertheless this seriously flawed census continues to be quoted by public authorities and lazy university academics even today”.

And she attacked the £20,000 report by Cambridgeshire University for the county council “that quoted the nonsensical statistics on employment in Wisbech. They said we had just 718 residents working in agriculture and 1,758 in food manufacturing.”

Mrs Gillick says a third of all primary school pupils in Wisbech are East Europeans – in one school the figure is nearer to three fifths- as are a quarter of all secondary school pupils.

The town has insufficient GPs to cope, she says, 7,000 migrants live in a thousand or more houses of multiple occupation and both rents and house prices have rocketed.

Mrs Gillick quotes from another report from last year – also commissioned by the county council- that disputed earlier numbers on immigration. She said a case study for re-opening the rail line concluded that up to 35 per cent of the population could now be formed from the immigrant community.

“On a sadder note there has also been a big increase in abortions at Kings Lynn hospital,” she says.

“In the countries of the former Soviet Union disposing of unwanted babies has been a commonplace fact of life for most of the 20th century. Some East Europeans may well have carried this throw-away culture with them to Britain.

Quoting figures from a 2006-11 ‘maternities and terminations’ report from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital she says that “up until 2005 an average of around 280 pregnancy terminations took place annually in Kings Lynn, rising to an average of over 460 a year by 2012”

But she also points out that in 2001 the number of children aged 4 or under in Wisbech was 1,691 but by 2012 this had risen to 2,646 – the biggest increase being in babies under the age of 1.

In health care and schooling Wisbech was stretched but nothing like it in housing, she says.

Wisbech had nowhere near enough homes for the numbers arriving “and out of the wood came an unpleasant breed of gang master/landlords to take advantage of the situation, buying up all the available housing stock and packing migrants into every nook and cranny”.

Whilst Operation Pheasant and later Operation Endeavour had dealt with some of the problems, many local people had still been unable to find homes they could afford to rent or buy.

Quoting from a 2012 Cabinet report of Fenland Council, she says that in 2010, for instance, 31 social houses in the town were allocated to immigrants from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.

“A further 54 were housed the following year rising to 75 in 2013,” she said. “In those four years alone a total of 202 migrant households were given priority over local families.”

Mrs Gillick first sprung to prominence over 30 years ago when she went to the High Court to try and prevent doctors prescribing contraception to under 16s without parental consent. She lost what became a famous test case.

Two years ago she took the microphone at an anti immigration rally in Wisbech to complain about alcohol problems in the town and the growing number of licensed premises.

It’s a theme she returns to in her dossier, complaining that “East Europeans are well known for liking a drop of the hard stuff; liking it rather too much actually”.

She says Fenland Council was awarded £50,000 from the Migration Impacts Fund “for a project worker to deal with ‘domestic abuse and sexual violence in migrant communities’ with alcohol being the usual cause.

“Bad cultural habits don’t die out, they merely shift their ground. Thus the Baltic culture of outdoor drinking has since migrated to Wisbech parks, playing fields and roadside verges which are daily littered with drink cans, bottles, broken glass and rubbish.

“Occasionally the police can be seen making early morning foot patrols, peering into bushes in search of drunk and rough sleeping migrants. Nowadays the town’s alleyways are also being filled with human excrement from those night drinkers.”

Mrs Gillick concludes that Wisbech has become impoverished by the mass influx of migrants “because of the indifference neglect and crass misjudgements of public authorities, most critically in regard to education, social environment and employment”.

•TELL US WHAT YOU THINK? Has Victoria Gillick been unfair? Is she wrong? Or do you agree with her? email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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