Edinburgh: Devolved immigration policy? All parts of the UK need to feel that the Government acts in the interests of its local population

Our last Scottish citizens’ panel was held in Edinburgh. In all our visits north of the border, we have asked participants if the Scottish Government should be given control over immigration policy. This last weekend, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for Scotland to be given powers over immigration. So we thought it would be Read more about Edinburgh: Devolved immigration policy? All parts of the UK need to feel that the Government acts in the interests of its local population[…]

Immigration and Integration: Getting it Right Locally

It’s in everyone’s interests that we get integration right in Britain. And there’s clearly work to do: our society is more anxious, fragmented and polarised than any of us would like. It’s a ‘State of the Nation’ challenge at national level: integration matters to all of us, not just to migrants and minorities. But getting Read more about Immigration and Integration: Getting it Right Locally[…]

Bedford: Illegal immigration, Windrush, and public compassion

Our last visit of the National Conversation on Immigration was to Bedford, a town that has welcomed waves of immigrant from Italians and Indians after the Second World War, to more recent arrivals from Eastern Europe. Today, estimates suggest that nearly 18% of the town’s population has been born overseas, with many more having recent family Read more about Bedford: Illegal immigration, Windrush, and public compassion[…]

Berwick-upon-Tweed: In order to win back public trust on immigration, business in the UK needs to consider its role and responsibilities

Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland was our fourth and final destination for our visits to the North East. Just two miles south of the border, administration of the town has passed between England and Scotland changed hands at least 13 times in its history. It is a market town and the largest settlement in the area. Consequently, Read more about Berwick-upon-Tweed: In order to win back public trust on immigration, business in the UK needs to consider its role and responsibilities[…]

Yeovil: Information on immigration needs to be clear, accessible and trusted

The National Conversation’s last visit in the South West was to Yeovil, a town of 45,000 in South Somerset. Our conversation in Yeovil valued the contribution of EU migrant workers, who they saw propping up the local health service as well as agricultural industries, but also held some concerns about a perceived unfairness of migrants Read more about Yeovil: Information on immigration needs to be clear, accessible and trusted[…]

Bexley: Talking about Calais

We have recently visited Bexley where asylum was a high profile issue for our citizens’ panel, much more so than in many other locations we have visited. Our participants were sympathetic to the plight of refugees, but were concerned about the situation in Calais and the arrival of clandestine migrants in this part of London. Read more about Bexley: Talking about Calais[…]

Aberystwyth: welcoming newcomers and preserving local culture

We returned to Wales this week and visited Aberystwyth, a university town in Ceredigion, a predominantly rural local authority. Although our citizens’ panel thought that migration had brought benefits to this part of West Wales, they were also concerned about cultural change and threats to the Welsh language. “I agree with the benefits and the Read more about Aberystwyth: welcoming newcomers and preserving local culture[…]

Lincoln: Why language matters

Our last East Midlands visit was to Lincoln where our much of citizens’ panel discussion focused on language barriers. From being a non-diverse cathedral city some 25 years ago, Lincoln and its environs have seen the arrival of significant numbers of both EU migrants and international students. The pace of change has caused some tension Read more about Lincoln: Why language matters[…]

Grimsby: attitudes to immigration have “everything to do with opportunities”

Grimsby, a seaport town in North Lincolnshire, was the National Conversation’s last visit to Yorkshire and Humberside. Here where we met with stakeholders and local people to discuss migration. The citizens’ panel in Grimsby considered immigration to bring both positive impacts and challenges, although the panel voiced many concerns about migration and felt that negative Read more about Grimsby: attitudes to immigration have “everything to do with opportunities”[…]

Ballymena: How do attitudes to immigration in Northern Ireland compare with the rest of the UK?

  Our final National Conversation on Immigration visit in Northern Ireland was to Ballymena, a town of 30,000 people near to the North Antrim coast. The citizens’ panel we met had constructive and balanced views about migration and believed that it had brought both benefits and some challenges to Northern Ireland. “I just think there Read more about Ballymena: How do attitudes to immigration in Northern Ireland compare with the rest of the UK?[…]