First Nepalese, then Polish moved inBy Mike Pyle
November 26, 2008
The number of people born overseas who are living and working in the borough is increasing.
Estimates by the Office for National Statistics say the percentage of “white British” in Bracknell Forest decreased from 90.4 per cent in 2001 to 85.9 per cent in 2006.
After British, the second biggest ethnic group in Bracknell Forest is Nepalese.
Alison Sanders, director of corporate services at Bracknell Forest Council, said that was because of links between Nepalese Gurkhas and the Sandhurst military academy.
“It means a lot of the Gurkhas have settled in the country and they have attracted their friends and families to the country," she said.
For the past three years Polish people have been top of the list of those registering to work in Bracknell Forest.
Ms Sanders added: “We don’t have asylum seekers in Bracknell, they’re doing legitimate work and they’re boosting our economy.
“It’s something to harness. They’re not drawing on the welfare system – they’re a bonus to the local community.”
Many of those who come to Bracknell from abroad do so to work for hi-tech companies Panasonic, Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu.
Councillor Jennie McCracken is the lead member of the working group that looked into provisions for the rising number of schoolchildren whose first language is not English.
She said: “A lot of these children have been brought here by parents who have been brought here by businesses. We have to hope they stay here.
“Combined with the regeneration there can be nothing to doubt that they are a benefit for the borough and should help stand us in good stead for the future.”
- A children’s centre has set up a group for Slovak toddlers due to popular demand.
Slovacik was organised at The Rowans Children’s Centre after a Slovakian mum asked the manager for one.
Cath Lowther, manager of the centre at Fox Hill Primary School in Pondmoor Road, said: “We want to be able to support people and help them feel comfortable with and proud of their heritage and speak in their mother tongue.”
Call (01344) 312800 for more information about Slovacik.