The Potteries: “Immigration has got an image problem”

The National Conversation’s visit to the Potteries gave us the opportunity to have a wide-ranging discussion about immigration on the area, with issues such as asylum dispersal raised by our citizens’ panel as well as some of the economic trade-offs involved in future immigration policy. The citizens’ panel also discussed the role of different sources Read more about The Potteries: “Immigration has got an image problem”[…]

Bolton: Perceptions of immigration built from how we see integration

The National Conversation was in Bolton yesterday, the 11th stop on the national journey; a former mill town in the North West, built from the migration of Flemish settlers in the 14th century with a sizeable South Asian community today. The town, part of Greater Manchester, is still coming to terms with the appalling terrorist Read more about Bolton: Perceptions of immigration built from how we see integration[…]

Merthyr Tydfil: Integration needs to be an ‘everybody’ issue

Merthyr Tydfil was the tenth stop for the National Conversation. It is a town that was built by migrants coming to mine its coal, stoke its furnaces and to work in its factories. Despite this long history of migration, a strong identity and an active labour movement, it is a town where new arrivals and Read more about Merthyr Tydfil: Integration needs to be an ‘everybody’ issue[…]

Southampton: Language is a key factor in building cohesive communities

The ninth stop for the National Conversation on Immigration was Southampton, a University city and part of a built-up south coast metropolis of 1.6 million people. As a port, Southampton has had a long history of immigration and emigration. More recently, an estimated 20,000 Poles – about one in ten of the total population – Read more about Southampton: Language is a key factor in building cohesive communities[…]

Northampton: Economic grievances with immigration more than a single issue

Employment and quality of life issues dominated the discussion when the National Conversation on Immigration visited Northampton on Wednesday. It also made us question what we mean by ‘left behind’ – a term that has become part of the political lexicon since the referendum. A fast train line to London has attracted those who are Read more about Northampton: Economic grievances with immigration more than a single issue[…]

Trowbridge, Wiltshire: What shapes attitudes to immigration?

From Enfield, a London borough where an estimated 40% of residents identify as White British or White Irish, the National Conversation visited Trowbridge last week, a market town on the edge of rural Wiltshire- a local authority where just under 7% of the population identify as BAMER, far below the national average. In both of Read more about Trowbridge, Wiltshire: What shapes attitudes to immigration?[…]

Generational Change and Immigration Stories in Enfield

The National Conversation continued its journey across the UK, stopping off at Enfield, outer London, for our fifth stakeholder panel and citizen panel. In the 1970s, over 50% of the jobs in the local area were in clothes manufacturing, today that is under 6%.[1] The vast majority of jobs in the area are now in Read more about Generational Change and Immigration Stories in Enfield[…]

Aberdeen: demanding more transparency from government

The National Conversation’s fourth destination was Aberdeen, which we visited after Whitley Bay. Although it was close to freezing when we arrived, the first Scottish strawberries had already hit the supermarkets – plant breeding and plastic tunnels have enabled farmers along Scotland’s East Coast to extend the growing season of much soft fruit, giving us Read more about Aberdeen: demanding more transparency from government[…]

Whitley Bay, North Tyneside: welcoming and compassionate, with some immigration anxieties

There are big plans for Whitley Bay. The regeneration of the seafront promenade, with new attractions, restaurants and a Premier Inn hotel looking out over the sea; and the long-delayed refurbishment of the ‘Spanish City’, a Alhambra-esque domed palace that once formed the heart of an amusement park. That was in the days when tourists Read more about Whitley Bay, North Tyneside: welcoming and compassionate, with some immigration anxieties[…]

March, Cambridgeshire: Keeping up with the pace of change

Yesterday, the National Conversation continued its journey through the country to March, Cambridgeshire. March is a small Fenland market town between Ely and Wisbech. The Fenland’s farms and factories have always relied on new arrivals, from Irish migrants and Gypsy and Traveller communities in the 1800s, to workers escaping the depression in the Midlands and Read more about March, Cambridgeshire: Keeping up with the pace of change[…]