Britons fear limited prospects due to rapid influx of immigrants

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London, July 21 : A rapid influx of immigrants in the UK has put pressure on housing and schools, making British citizens fearful of their prospects being limited, a new report has warned. The claims come as it emerged that 1billion pound is being spent on putting up foreigners in council houses - despite two million people waiting for a home.

The report titled "Immigration and Social Cohesion in the UK", uncovered a stark divide in how parts of the UK adapt to new migrants.

While many people value their children growing up with cultural diversity, some feel their opportunities are reduced because of immigration.

There was particular concern around the competition for social housing, soaring house prices and school places, The Telegraph repotrted.

Report author Mary Hickman, a Professor at London Metropolitan University, said: "We found that although many British people value the UK for being multi-ethnic and multicultural, poverty and lack of opportunities undermine social cohesion especially in certain parts of our towns and cities."

"A key factor influencing whether new migrants are accepted is the dominant story in each locality about who belongs there," he added.

The report also suggested that Prime Minister Gordon Brown should spend focus on tackling poverty rather than a "fixed notion" of Britishness to improve social cohesion.

However, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggested that Brown's time might be better spent dealing with "deprivation and how people connect".

The competition for a limited supply of council housing has been one of the areas of key concern in the debate about immigration.

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the number of people on the waiting list for a council house has soared by 650,000 to 1.67million households.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of pressure group MigrationWatch, said: "The fact is that allocation is based on need which has the effect of giving priority to larger families which are more likely to be immigrant families.

"There is no question that this one of the causes of local tensions which will not be helped by a reflex policy of denial by this Government."

However a report last month from the Department of Communities and Local Government claimed new migrants were not putting "significant pressure on social housing" because they are ineligible for council housing.

ANI

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