Carlisle: Cumbria is less diverse than rest of the UK, how does this affect views on immigration?

Carlisle, a city of around 100,000 in Cumbria just south of the Scottish border was the National Conversation’s 37th destination. Cumbria has seen a steady increase in its immigrant population since the millennium, but is still thought to be among the least diverse areas of the UK, with a migrant population less than half of Read more about Carlisle: Cumbria is less diverse than rest of the UK, how does this affect views on immigration?[…]

Bristol: In the future city, we will no longer ask those that we meet, “where are you from?”

As part of the Festival of Ideas Future Cities, the National Conversation spent two days in Bristol talking about immigration, and how we can make it work in the future city. The festival focussed on the question “how do we make the cities that we really want to live in?”  Immigration needs to work for everyone Read more about Bristol: In the future city, we will no longer ask those that we meet, “where are you from?”[…]

Gloucester: The two ‘C’s, contribution and control

Gloucester is a city with a rich history of migration and is now relatively diverse compared to wider Gloucestershire. It is also the half-way point of the National Conversation’s 60 visits, and time to reflect on common themes. As with all citizens’ panels, our Gloucester participants talked about the contribution of migrants, but also about Read more about Gloucester: The two ‘C’s, contribution and control[…]

Sutton Coldfield: “It’s all about checks and balances”

“It’s all about checks and balances” – one participant in our Sutton Coldfield citizen’s panel used this phrase so often that a couple of others started teasing him about it. But it was a pretty accurate summing-up of the mixed and balanced views of the people in the room. As we have seen in many Read more about Sutton Coldfield: “It’s all about checks and balances”[…]

Chesterfield: If public consent for immigration is to be gained, conversations need to be extended to Sports Direct, too

Our 28th National Conversation visit was to Chesterfield, a town of about 100,000 people in Derbyshire. Here, as we always do, we held a meeting with local stakeholders, then later with a citizens’ panel. In both discussions, we heard lots about the impact of Brexit on jobs and the local economy, but the two groups Read more about Chesterfield: If public consent for immigration is to be gained, conversations need to be extended to Sports Direct, too[…]

Redbridge: is London its very own ‘crowded island’?

The National Conversation continued its tour around the country, visiting Redbridge, an ethnically diverse outer London borough. Redbridge’s houses and streets tell a story about integration in Britain. It is a place where generations of immigrants settled, on their journey from the East End to the Home Counties. Many Redbridge residents have Irish ancestors and Read more about Redbridge: is London its very own ‘crowded island’?[…]

Lerwick: Migration is a topical issue in rural areas like Shetland

Shetland is no stranger to immigration and emigration. Since pre-historic times it has seen the arrival of different peoples. Following Viking colonisation, Shetland was a Norwegian rule until the 15th century after which it was annexed by Scotland. The Scandinavian influence can still be seen in Shetland’s words, accents and faces. Centuries on, work continues Read more about Lerwick: Migration is a topical issue in rural areas like Shetland[…]

Paisley: How does political and religious leadership influence attitudes to immigration

Paisley, Renfrewshire just outside of Glasgow, is a place where the 19th century textile boom has left its mark, with grand sandstone buildings and monuments on almost every corner. But the decline of industry has taken away wealth from the town and many people now commute into Glasgow for work. While median wages are above Read more about Paisley: How does political and religious leadership influence attitudes to immigration[…]

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?[…]