Sunday 13 April 2008

The Mayor of Hereford on Migrant Stories

From The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Chris Chappell who, with the Mayoress, Mrs Alison Chappell, was present at the screening of Migrant Stories on Wednesday 2 April:
"I was very impressed by the professionalism of the Borderlines Festival, something very special for Herefordshire.

The treatment of migrants has been a concern of mine for a number of years, but my main concern is that the racist element in the county is getting worse. Politicians like myself need to be giving more of a lead for the community.

During my year as Mayor of Hereford I have had through the Mayor's Parlour almost every nation represented by the migrant population in the county. It is obvious that although there are many groups in the county from the church through to several voluntary groups, there is no co-ordinated approach to migrant welfare and that politically we are doing little to stamp out racism.

I would like the county to appoint a 'roving ambassador' to promote the county in Eastern Europe. Their remit would be to help provide training for those wishing to come to work here, to look after their interests when migrants are here, to co-ordinate the various groups working locally with migrants, to foster good relations with local people, many of whom see a threat to their homes and jobs and to increase cultural, business, educational and sporting links.

In 2012, Herefordshire will host the Paralympics at the RNCB. What a great opportunity for us now to foster good relations with workers from Eastern Europe in preparation for many 1000's more from across the world coming to our wonderful county!

The Borderlines Festival has gone a long way to put this right and my hope for the future is that the films of the migrants in Herefordshire will go into every school,
parish council, and to every Herefordshire Councillor. Well done Borderlines!"

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