OUR county council leader has never been one to shy away from a controversial opinion.

However, Keith Mitchell may have today sparked an interesting debate.

He said people moving to Britain who did not learn English risked leaving their children struggling academically.

It has once again raised questions over whether councils put too much time and money into translations.

The Oxford Mail has previously reported how some city primary schools were struggling because parents of youngsters did not speak English.

The knock-on effect on children meant they did not find life easy in the classroom. The impact of a poor start in life is fairly clear to see.

Last night people from ethnic minority groups warned people could be put at risk if information was unavailable in their own languages.

Those wh would advocate scrapping all translated documents would appreciate a helping hand to settle in if they were in a foreign land.

From then on they shouild be expected make as much effort as possible to learn the language and mix with the community. It’s all about striking a balance and we may well have gone too far at too great an expense to the taxpayer.

In a city such as Oxford, we welcome people from a huge range of countries.

We also expect people to integrate, and integrate quickly. But we must also ensure that, initially at least, they are able to understand fully how best to do that The fine line is deciding whether the initial helping hand becomes something which is relied upon too much.

One thing we must not do is offer a two fingers to anyone who wants to move to this county.