IMMIGRATION will see the population of England rise by almost four million in the next eight years, according to official figures – but hardly anybody is coming to Lancashire.
The projected population rise will see numbers in the UK swell to 57 million, but much of East Lancashire will buck the trend.
London will have the biggest growth, with an increase of 13 per cent. But the increase in the North West will only be 3.6 per cent and of the five local authorities with the lowest population changes, three of them are in Lancashire.
Hyndburn is third from bottom on the table, where the population is set to actually decrease by 0.3 per cent. In Blackpool there will be a decrease of 0.2 per cent, and the population in Burnley is projected to stay the same.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones attributed the decrease to a lack of jobs in the area. He said: “People migrate to where there’s work and employment – that’s obvious. This area has gone through a lot of difficulties and there aren’t as many jobs as in other areas. 7.6 per cent of properties in Hyndburn are empty, and in the last two censuses there has been a slight depopulation.
“There’s also an ageing population, so if there are skilled migrants then we need them.”
But Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said it was down to stricter immigration policies. He said: “Most of the immigration in Burnley over many many years has come from the Indian subcontinent. Most of that dried up because of the coalition government’s policies on having to meet certain criteria for immigration from outside the European Union.
“For Eastern Europeans coming to Britain there’s not the type of work they want in Burnley.”