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18 July 2014

The Impact of International Migration on the East Midlands

East Midlands Councils (EMC) today launched a major report on the impact of international migration on the East Midlands.

The report, entitled ‘The Impact of International Migration on the East Midlands’ makes use of official data and analysis commissioned from Nottingham Trent University.

It concludes that international migration has generally been good for the economy, that recent migrants make a net contribution to the UK budget and are less likely to claim state benefits than the non-migrant population.

However it also highlights four key challenges that must be addressed if community cohesion is to be maintained at a local level: 

  • There is no single, consistent source of local data on migrant communities or their characteristics, which makes it difficult for councils to effectively plan and deliver local services;
  • Changes to Government policy have shifted the cost of caring for some vulnerable migrant communities to councils, without any additional financial support;
  • Councils need to have a greater say in how and where supported asylum seekers are dispersed by the Home Office in local communities; and
  • There is a lack of local provision for teaching English for those new migrants who do not speak the language well, which can limit job opportunities and increase translation costs for councils. 

The report goes on to make twelve recommendations on specific measures to address these challenges, including:

  • Government should ensure legislative and policy changes that have an impact on migration and migrants do not result, either individually or collectively, in additional unfunded new burdens on councils.
  • Ethnicity and country of origin data for all health interventions should be routinely recorded and used to produce comprehensive ‘Migrant Health Profiles’ for key migrant populations. 
  • The Government and NHS England should work with councils to improve the data and intelligence relating to the future demand for school places and councils should ensure flexible delivery to meet identified need in a timely and cost effective manner.

Cllr Jon Collins, Chairman of East Midlands Councils said: “The impact of international migration is a controversial and politically contested issue – but we need to talk about it. The lack of an informed debate within Parliament, the media and public at large has been very damaging. This report seeks to ‘shine a light’ on the issues from an East Midlands perspective. We hope that it will be used positively to improve policy and practice at national and local levels.” 

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Co-Chair of the East Midlands All Party Parliamentary Group said: “This report represents a very positive contribution to an important debate.

Cllr David Simmonds, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Migration Task Group said: “The report identifies some of the key pressures facing councils both in the East Midlands and the country as a whole, and sets out some very practical solutions for how they can be tackled.”

Cllr Paul Kenny, Chair of the East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership said: “The report demonstrates the importance of joint working by councils and stakeholders at both a local level and through Regional Strategic Migration Partnerships. If we work more effectively together, I am sure we can tackle many of the concerns we are hearing from local people.”

Ron Lynch, Regional Director, East Midlands Institute of Directors said: “It is time that the importance of international migration to the UK’s economy and public finances was more widely acknowledged and better understood.  This report sets out the evidence in a clear and objective manner and deserves to be considered seriously by politicians at both local and national level.”  

Alan Hardwick, Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire said: “Maintaining community safety and cohesion is a key concern of the Lincolnshire Police – as I am sure it is for other forces. The report highlights the importance of better local information and effective joint working between public bodies to help keep people safe.”

Dr Meng Khaw, Director of the East Midlands Centre for Public Health England said:  

“Better local information is the key to better local health services. This very welcome report makes some practical recommendations about how we improve the health of local people, whatever their country of origin or ethnic background.”

Paul Eeles, Chief Executive, East Midlands Further Education Colleges (EMFEC) said: “We welcome the report’s recommendation on ESOL provision in the East Midlands and agree that adequate provision across the region is essential economically and socially. We believe it is fundamentally important that high quality ESOL provision is accessible in order to help migrants fully integrate into communities and the work place. Colleges look forward to working collaboratively with councils, LEPs and other stakeholders in order to deliver programmes which will increase English language proficiency in the East Midlands.”

Professor Rob Ackrill, Professor of European Economics and Policy and Jean Monnet, Chair in European Economic Studies, Nottingham Trent University said:  It is very encouraging to see local authorities in the East Midlands engaging with migration, which is of such importance to the local economy, and drawing on research provided by the Division of Economics in Nottingham Business School as a key input into their policy and practice. Nottingham Trent University is keen to continue to work as a strategic partner, providing an academic perspective on these issues, supporting the evidence-based policy making of East Midlands’ local authorities in the future.” 

Full report available from here

End of text

Notes to Editors

East Midlands Councils is the consultative forum for local authorities in the region. It provides support to Councils to improve their services and is a strong voice for the East Midlands.  www.emcouncils.gov.uk

The Report: ‘The Impact of International Migration on the East Midlands’ will be launched at the EMC Annual General Meeting, taking place at the offices of Rushcliffe Borough Council near Nottingham on the 18th July 2014.  The full report is available at:

http://www.emcouncils.gov.uk/write/ImpactOfMigration-6-A4-AW.pdf

Contacts

For further information please contact:

 Stuart Young, Executive Director

East Midlands Councils

Tel: 01664 502631

Mob 07771 966 905

Email: stuart.young@emcouncils.gov.uk

Chris Lawton, Senior Research Fellow (Economic Strategy Research Bureau)

Economics Division, Nottingham Business School

Nottingham Trent University

Tel: 0115 848 2954

Email: Christopher.Lawton@ntu.ac.uk

ENDS.

All news releases from East Midlands Councils are emailed to relevant media organisations throughout the East Midlands and beyond.  Please keep us up-to-date with your contact details and inform us of any changes.

All news releases can be viewed on our website at http://www.emcouncils.gov.uk/Press-releases

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