Cambridge: Housing is a basic need, whatever our nationality

The National Conversation made its second visit to Cambridgeshire last week. Last February, we visited the Fens, and held a stakeholder meeting and citizens’ panel in the town of March, which has seen rapid migration from the EU. Our second visit was to Cambridge, an ancient seat of European learning. With 72% of voters in Read more about Cambridge: Housing is a basic need, whatever our nationality[…]

Nottingham: Do young people see migration differently?

This week we travelled to Nottingham to hear from our 16 to 22 year old panel, to see whether young people speak differently about immigration. The panel was representative of their age group:  most of the panel were working and relatively few were university students. The group saw that the benefits of immigration outweighed any Read more about Nottingham: Do young people see migration differently?[…]

Milton Keynes: How the built environment affects the way we think about immigration

The 17th stop for the National Conversation was Milton Keynes, a town celebrating its 50th birthday this year; once a quiet Buckinghamshire village the Milton Keynes we see today was developed as a purpose built town to ease the overspill of London. As a new town, Milton Keynes has been built on migration. As a Read more about Milton Keynes: How the built environment affects the way we think about immigration[…]

Dungannon: Why are attitudes to migration so different in this small, rural town?

Dungannon, 40 miles west of Belfast, could easily be compared to March, Cambridgeshire- which the National Conversation visited earlier on this year. Both towns sit within vast rural hinterlands, share an economic focus on agri-manufacturing and as a result, have seen rapid migration over the last fifteen years. Migration trends to both places began from Read more about Dungannon: Why are attitudes to migration so different in this small, rural town?[…]

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”[…]

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[…]

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[…]