‘Funds would ease tension’

Junction of Page Hall road and Firth Park Road on Tuesday night'26 November 2013'Image � Paul David Drabble'www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

Junction of Page Hall road and Firth Park Road on Tuesday night'26 November 2013'Image � Paul David Drabble'www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

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Sheffield MP David Blunkett has called for greater funding for a troubled suburb amid claims the area is struggling to cope with an influx of Roma families.

The Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough rubbished national newspaper reports the neighbourhood was on the verge of race riots – but said financial support would help ease pressure on services.

He also said he was misquoted amid claims he had warned of ‘riots’.

Some Page Hall residents have complained Roma families have been behind an increase in anti-social behaviour, littering and crime.

Police have issued a curfew banning groups of under-16s gathering after 9pm.

Mr Blunkett said the restoration of the Migration Impact Fund – cut in June 2010 – would help educate new arrivals and ease cultural misunderstandings.

He said: “Pressure on services, including health and education, has been considerable. The response on the whole has been magnificent. People have pulled together and worked together. But social cohesion remains on a knife edge.

“Central government must be proactive in supporting hard-pressed local agencies. It must listen to the modest demands those of us engaged on this vital issue have been demanding, including a restoration of the Migration Impact Fund.”

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