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NO-GO AREAS FOR WHITES; That's the claim in official probe on immigration SHOCK REPORT HIGHLIGHTS FEARS OF WORKING-CLASS BRUMMIES LIVING ON CASTLE VALE ESTATE.

Byline: BY ADAM ASPINALL

WHITE working class Brummies fear parts of their city have become nogo areas for them.

The shock claim has been made in a bombshell Government report into how poor white people feel about immigration.

The study has also revealed that hardworking white Brummies fear politicians have betrayed them in favour of refugees and single mothers.

Researchers for the Department of Communities and Local Government quizzed residents from Castle Vale about their feelings on immigration.

They also questioned people from Runcorn in Cheshire, Milton Keynes and Thetford in Norfolk.

Among the many concerns raised in Castle Vale was the claim that white people were not welcome in parts of Birmingham at night.

The report quotes an anonymous male contributor, aged in his 40s, who notes that others from outside the area would consider his neighbourhood a no-go area for them, too.

The report states: "He talks of a few incidents that have occurred over previous years, including a road sign in an area with a high Asian population, on which was sprayed the phrase 'No Whites after 8.30'.

"These 'no-go areas', according to him, are mirrored by Castle Vale, a place where he feels safe but others would not dare go."

The man tells the report author's: "Perhaps I need to work harder in understanding the different cultures and things like that, but there's things that I see when I'm driving around Birmingham that I shouldn't be happening.

"There's these areas that have completely been took over... and you do feel very uneasy. Not just me, and I only drive into these areas, never actually walk into these areas, I just wouldn't. Just in case I did do something that I... because of their culture or their religion it was a threat or it was an insult or something, because we don't understand.

"The British people don't really understand.

"And all of a sudden we've got to try and understand all these different things that have been thrown at us. And I think it's very, very difficult for a lot of people." Yet while he claimed some white people might also be afraid to come to Castle Vale at night, local white residents had no such fears.

"These are our little havens, places like Castle Vale, and it's about 90 per cent white in this community, and it's just such a relief you know," he said.

"Even though there's people out there that would be terrified to come to Castle Vale, we can't wait to get back to it." Yetcommunity leaders across were sceptical about the claims last night and highlighted the racial harmony in the city.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, the chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, blamed the Government for the fears over immigration.

He said: "If the white working class in Birmingham do feel betrayed, then it is the fault of successive Governments, it has nothing to do with race or immigration or anything like that.

"No community should be made to feel like they are being treated unfairly and if the Government do think immigration is a problem then perhaps they should take a look at themselves because they allowed these people in in the first place.

"They did not just land here from heaven, the Government created a problem for itself, and is now dealing with consequences like this.

"For the most part there is racial harmony in Birmingham and if there are nogo areas, then they are in places like Broad Street after 11pm, but that is a national problem and nothing to do with colour."

Castle Vale Labour councillor Linda Clinton also said she was surprised by the reports' conclusions.

She said: "To be honest, there are not even that many immigrants in Castle Vale and if it was ever a no-go area then it was a no-go area for everyone, no matter what your colour, about a decade ago.

"But since then it has been regenerated and lots of people have moved in, making waiting lists for council houses much longer than they were in the past.

"I think this has led to the perception that immigrants might be getting a helping hand, but the truth is I think the Housing Association are being as fair as they can be.

"Also, I believe the report's authors only interviewed about 43 people in the area anyway and that doesn't even represent a road, does it?"

MaxieHayles, Chairmanof Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit, said he felt that the report's findings were 'dangerous'.

He said: "Reports like this should be about cohesion, not divisive, and I would seriously question the validity of the methodology used to carry it out.

"This will do absolutely nothing for the racial harmony we are trying to promote in the city.

"In all my time here I have never come across a no-go area for white people, the idea is simply ridiculous.

"Birmingham is a civilised city and does not suffer from the supposed apartheid made out in this report which I find absolutely disgraceful."

The wide-ranging report looked into attitudes to immigration across England and found a widespread sense of resentment, unfairness and disempowerment among the white working-class communities questioned.

The report noted: "Indeed, many stories pursue the theme of resources being 'given away' to minorities.

"We understand these stories as not necessarily a reflection of things that have really happened, but rather a coded way to signal that the speaker contests the frame within which all the unfairness is experienced by ethnic minorities."

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, who last year blamed the rise of the ultraright BNP on politicians abandoning the working class, said the concerns of Castle Vale residents should not be branded racist.

She said: "People who care about their communities and have lived there for generations have every right to ask questions about what is happening there.

"The job of politicians is to listen and respond, to have the very debates that people in these estates are having - or we risk losing touch with them altogether."

But Tory spokeswoman Lady Warsi said the study showed a "ticking timebomb of racial and class prejudice".

She added: "What an indictment of New Labour. Over the last 10 years they have completely lost touch with their so-called roots.

"This should be a call to focus on the core problems."

The Sunday Mercury revealed in 2007 how large numbers of white people are leaving Birmingham for other parts of Britain - while the number of ethnic community groups in the city continues to grow rapidly.

The disclosures were made by researchers at Manchester University who said it is expected that the number of whites in Birmingham will drop by nearly a fifth over the next 20 years - from 65 per cent in 2006 to 48 per cent in 2026.

Meanwhile, the number of Pakistanis in the city will increase from 13 per cent in 2006 to 48 per cent in 2026.

It is believed the percentage of other ethnic groups, including African, Caribbean, Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese, will remain roughly around the same.

According to the report, Birmingham will become only the second British city in which whites will no longer be the majority group.

The change-round will have happened by 2024, following in the footsteps of Leicester, where it is expected the white population will find itself in the minority in 12 years' time.

adam.aspinall@sundaymercury.net

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Residents of the Castle Vale estate in Birmingham were interviewed for the Government report
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2009
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