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Eddie Mair | 12:39 UK time, Wednesday, 26 March 2008

...Jennifer from iPM has compiled this for you (Jenny is the iPM web queen and travels far and wide online in search of stories. She grew up by the sea. She owns lots of red shoes. She has 1 TV and 4 radios, enough said.)

When the Government talks about immigration it often argues that it's good for Britain's economy. Ministers have even put a figure on the benefit - £6 billion a year.

But do these figures take all the costs into account? In particular, the costs to our public services such as schools and hospitals.

Next month an influential report from the House of Lords is expected to argue that the actual benefit of immigration to Britain's economy is much smaller than the Government says it is.

This week, The World at One and PM are examining the issues.


1. Schools
Social Affairs Correspondent Andrew Bomford visits a school in Lincolnshire where they're learning to adapt their teaching as a large number of pupils don't speak English as their first language.

2. The European Union
When Poland joined the the EU in 2004 only the UK, Ireland and Sweden allowed unrestricted access to workers from these new accession countries. Other EU countries, like France were more cautious. Our Europe Editor, Mark Mardell, examines the result of France's more restrictive approach to the free movement of workers across Europe and how it compares with our own.

3. NHS
The NHS is Britain's biggest workforce - and experts say immigration has helped sustain it at many hospitals in recent years.

The number of new health service staff who've come from eastern Europe is surprisingly small among the clinical professions - but countries such as India and the Philippines have been major contributors.

Last year more than eleven thousand foreign-trained doctors, nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK, but the numbers have slowed down considerably during this decade. Health correspondent, Jane Dreaper, explores the experiences of NHS staff in Bradford.

4. Secondary migration
Public concern over immigration has led the government to announce a stop on unskilled workers coming in from non-EU countries.

But there is a way round it. Every year, refugees and immigrants who've gained citizenship elsewhere in the EU migrate for a second time - to Britain.

Not much is known about about secondary migrants and the numbers aren't large by national standards, but there have been some dramatic local impacts. The World at One/PM journalist Ray Furlong reports.

5. West Cumbria: the changing face of England
The thriving fishing industry that sustained the town of Maryport in West Cumbria has declined in recent years.

But a stagnant economy has been revived, in part, through the estimated 700 eastern European immigrants moving to the town (population 11, 000) in the last 4 years, says Cumbria county council.

The World at One/PM reporter Michael Buchanan visits Maryport to see what effects the migrant workers are having.


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