Approaches to the settlement of refugees and migrants in Northern England

Interactions between communities, public authorities and charities.  A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance

Middlesbrough Town Hall, The Old Fire Station, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ, Friday 21st September 2018, 9.30 – 13.00

The settlement of migrants and refugees can lead to sensitive political, social and service delivery challenges including how best to approach and manage the process at the local level.

The seminar draws on contributions from speakers currently engaged in research, policy and practice initiatives surrounding issues of migration, ethnicity and community cohesion in the North of England. Taking as its starting point the, Integrated Communities Strategies Green Paper, the seminar will look at long-standing and newer initiatives to promote community cohesion in northern towns, cities and rural areas.

Policy makers may consider that the arrival of migrants in already established ethnic minority communities will achieve an easier transition or that densely populated communities will be more amenable and capable of adapting than is the case in towns and rural areas.

However, such assumptions and the complexities surrounding settlement in areas with different geographical and socio-economic characteristics needs to be fully understood and openly debated. This event will also address the challenges and opportunities of settlement in areas where migrants or refugees are very much in the minority.

In analysing these issues, attention will be given to the journeys individuals follow and how their adaption to new local circumstances is influenced by a range of factors such as personal and wider social networks as well as the individual’s economic, social, cultural and demographic characteristics. In seeking to provide outside assistance it is important not to presume that all individuals need the same kind of support or will share the views of others as to the lives they wish to lead.

Personal journeys are also shaped by the reception migrants and refugees receive from established communities and neighbourhoods and the support they get from public authorities, voluntary and community organisations. It is therefore important to consider how such engagement can be provided in the most positive and effective manner and how the support can be offered in a complementary way which avoids duplication of effort and thereby maximises impact.

Speakers include:

Professor Gary Craig, Visiting Professor University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Chair, North East Race Equality Forum, will look at current challenges and will ask where we hope to be in ten years’ time.

Amria Khatun, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, will provide an overview of the Green Paper and consider ways of tackling challenges different areas may face.

Shahda Khan, Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager, Middlesbrough Council, will look back over the last ten years on integrated interventions by public authorities, charities and community groups to bolster community cohesion.

Georgina Fletcher, Chief Executive, Regional Refugee Forum North East (with Alison Holland and Chris Ford), will look at interactions between public authorities and charities to effect successful approaches to settlement across the North East.

Speaker presentations can be accessed here:

Amria Khatun 21st September 2018Georgina Fletcher, Alison Holland & Chris Ford 21 September 2018;  and Shahda Khan 21 September