Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

22 OCT 2007

Its official - there is no need to promote Polish or Urdu in Tendring

Government MInister confirms that there is no statutory requirement for local councils to provide public documents in languages other than English.

Its official; there is no requirement for Tendring council to promote the use of Urdu, Polish, Gujerati, Turkish, or any other language other than English.
Minister Parmjit Dhanda has formally replied to local MP Douglas Carswell to say that "In England, there is no statutory requirement for local councils to provide public documents in languages other than English".
While the Minister goes on to say that there will be "new non-statutory guidance", the Minister admits there is nothing forcing the council to do what they are doing. Moreover, Mr Dhanda goes on to say that the government "do believe knowledge of English is a vital part of integration into British society, as well as a personal advancement".
Clacton's MP, Douglas Carswell, says "I don't often agree with much that this government says, but the Minister is right. There is no requirement for Tendring Council to promote the use of Urdu, Polish, Gujerati, Turkish, or any language other than English."
"Tendring council is promoting this folly not because anyone voted for it, nor because the government has decreed it. It is happening because unelected council officials have decided that it should happen"
"According to a national newspaper, this sort of translation costs many millions of pounds. Yet even Tendring council admits that no one has asked for these translations. The council is being doubly foolish"
Douglas adds that Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi, wrote last week that "multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation. It has allowed groups to live separately, with no incentive to integrate and every incentive not to. It was intended to promote tolerance. Instead the result has been, in countries where it has been tried, societies more abrasive, fractured and intolerant than they once were."
"Encouraging the use of English creates cohesion. That is a good thing"
"It is time for Tendring council to stop this nonsense. This is England - and public documents must be in English".

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