Immigrants and refugees not same

Banner to welcome refugees and asylum seekers
Banner to welcome refugees and asylum seekers
Have your say

I too am a “retired tax-payer” (letters, April 27), but I do not confuse immigrants, who come here to work, pay their taxes and contribute to this country, possibly like the consultant surgeon featured on page 17 whose name sounds Italian, with refugees and asylum seekers fleeing their native land because of war or persecution.

I am proud that our city has helped such people to build a new life with the help of some government grant, but also from the many generous Sheffielders who support Assist and similar organisations.

Under the rules refugees are not allowed to work until their status is confirmed, and this can be a very lengthy process.

The cuts in our council services are because of the cuts, now more than government support grant since 2010 by the Coalition government and then the Conservative government.

This grant was supposed to ensure that councils in all areas, both where house values are high and in areas like South Yorkshire, where the vast majority of homes are in the two lowest bands, can provide a similar level of services.

The present government is trying to reduce the state provision of services to an absolute minimum, and areas like ours which have benefited enormously from European Regional funding will struggle even more post- Brexit if it goes through as Mrs May wants.

If there is no public funding to train our own nurses, teachers, doctors etc we shall continue to need well- qualified EU professionals to fill the gaps, also to do the seasonal agricultural work on our farms which rely on migrants, as people here want more stable long-term employment.

Unlike “Retired Taxpayer” and BC I am happy to put my name to my letters, and to put the case for our city to be an open welcoming place.

I support our council and voluntary organisations doing their best to ensure both long-term residents and newcomers find Sheffield a good place to live, despite the reduction of resources to provide services.

Veronica Hardstaff

Northfield Court, S10