Councillors Terry Cutmore and Phil Capon have submitted the following motion to the next District Council meeting on Tuesday. It’s a good bet it will get 100 percent support:
?This Council notes that Ghurkhas have played an active front line part in the British army?s activities in times of war and peace for nearly 200 years. In this period approximately 300,000 have fought alongside United Kingdom soldiers, with 45,000 of them being killed or wounded.
This Council notes that the Government announced in September 2004 a
change of immigration rules that allowed Ghurkhas, who had served in the
British army, to settle in the United Kingdom with their families.
This Council notes with concern, however, that this offer has only been
extended to cover those who had served at least four years and had been
discharged after 1st July 1997.
This Council believes that, given the exceptional service they have given to
the United Kingdom, Ghurkhas and their families should be given fast track
eligibility for either the right to remain or citizenship.
Therefore this Council:-
Urges Rochford District Members of Parliament to support Early Day Motions
that seek to extend Gurkha rights.
Asks the Chief Executive of the Council to write to the Local Government Association asking them, in turn, to lobby the Government on this matter. Asks the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister, demanding that all retired Ghurkhas who fought in the British Army get the right to citizenship, as well as a fair deal on pensions
I wholeheartedly support this “motion”!
When immigration is spiralling out of control, it is a disgrace that a group of people who have served this country over many years, faithfully & with distinction, should be excluded.
Has anyone suggested a petition? Maybe via The Echo?
Janet, the motion went through tonight with unanimous support. I put in my two-penn’orth, saying it was about the honours of the Gurkha soldiers and the honour of our own country…
As for ‘immigration is spiralling out of control’, I have some first-hand knowledge of how the immigration services operate through my ‘real’ job which involves ships crews.They are much more organised and efficient than they were three or four years ago, and ships are much more likely to get a combined visit from immigration and the police. Captains wives from outside the EU who haven’t got a visa will not be allowed to pop ashore for 5 minutes, even though it’s extremely unlikely that they will abscond.
From what I saw in the media, plus the odd trip I made to Lunar House, things were indeed pretty shambolic a few years ago but the spiralling out of control seems to have abated, which still leaves a legacy resulting from years of poor administration to sort out. For one thing, there were no checks made on people leaving the country, which made it well-nigh impossible to trak what was going on, which is ironic considering how many other targets and tick-boxes Whitehall introduced to education, policing , local government and probably health.
It may be the government has been acting tough on the Gurkhas because they think the public mood would be against them coming to the UK, but I think they have misjudged things.