Sheffield MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been accused of ‘washing his hands’ of a crisis-hit community.
David Blunkett, Labour MP for Hillsborough and Brightside, has hit back at Mr Clegg’s call for local people to sort out problems facing Fir Vale and Page Hall – which have seen a rise in anti-social behaviour, violence and noise after an influx of Slovakian migrants.
A police dispersal order is set to expire in a few of weeks, but Mr Clegg ruled out Government intervention.
Mr Blunkett, who has attended a series of community meetings in Page Hall in recent weeks, said: “I have no objection to Mr Clegg commenting positively to solutions in anything in my own constituency.
“What I object to is a negative rejection of any responsibility by central government to help local people resolve really difficult and deep seated problems.
“Of course it’s the responsibility of local people to get together, as suggested by Mr Clegg, but that is what we’re all endeavouring to achieve.”
“What we can do without is the Deputy PM washing his hands of difficult and potentially explosive situations in the city that he purports to represent.”
Long-standing residents claim some of the Slovakian community are responsible for violence and intimidate vulnerable people. Others have reported children running around the streets half-naked and unwashed during school hours.
Mr Blunkett said blamed Government cuts had added to the problems.
He said: “Had the coalition from 2010 not abolished the Migrant Integration Fund, it would have been possible to draw down extra cash to help with the critical task of bringing people together, of supporting the work of the city council, the police, agencies dealing with environmental cleanup and enforcement.”