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KENT NEEDS MORE FUNDS TO COPE WITH SLOVAK GYPSIES

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Kent CC leader Sandy Bruce-Lockhart and the council's chief executive Mike Pitt are to meet home office minister Mi...
Kent CC leader Sandy Bruce-Lockhart and the council's chief executive Mike Pitt are to meet home office minister Mike O'Brien tomorrow to repeat calls for extra funding to cope with 800 or so Czech and Slovakian gypsies, the Independent (p6) reports.

Kent CC is bearing the strain of the problem because the government refuses to deal with the issue at national level, leaving it up to local authorities to cope, a report in The Guardian (p15) about applications for asylum in the UK claims.

The report says that the problem of Slovakian gypsies entering Britian over the last week is far smaller than the popular press is reporting, and also says that by far the most popular asylum seeker's destination in Europe is Germany.

Meanwhile, Essex CC is making preparations for a possible influx of immigrants after a family of Slovakian gypsies applied for asylum at Harwich port.

The East Anglian Daily Times (p1) reports that emergency planning officers, social services staff and other county and district officials will work out a plan of action today. Emergency planning officer Rosanna Briggs said: 'We want to be ready in case we face a sudden influx. We don't want to be caught out.'
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