Has time come for integrated communities? IRiS response to DHCLG green paper

IRiS Director, Professor Jenny Phillimore, was invited to participate in consultations for the Casey Review.

The much awaited Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (DHCLG) Integrated Communities Strategy green paper was released on 14 March 2018. In a series of IRiS blogs we give our reactions, based on some two decades of research into integration in the UK and Europe, to the Green Paper.

The paper sets out the Government’s proposals to create integrated communities and is the official response to the so-called Casey Review of 2016 which put forward a series of proposals to boost opportunity and integration “in our most isolated and deprived communities”.  Although the remit for both the review and the Green Paper was wide and intended to address the whole population, the emphasis in both has tended to be new migrant and minority communities. The Green Paper outlines the challenges and proposes some initiatives to address seven areas: strengthening leadership, supporting new migrants and resident communities, education and young people, boosting the English language, places and community, increased economic opportunity and rights and freedoms.  

In a series of IRiS blogs we give our reactions, based on some two decades of research into integration in the UK and Europe, to the Green Paper: 

IRiS Director, Professor Jenny Phillimore, was invited to participate in consultations for the Casey Review and was one of the IRiS team who submitted evidence.  She has recently, with Dr Laurence Lessard-Phillips, had her work on integration featured and in the British Academy report on social integration. 

Professor Phillimore is currently working with the Home Office to revise the UK’s Indictors of Integration and evaluating the implementation of the new Community Sponsorship Programme for refugees in the West Midlands. She has expressed her disappointment that both the review and the Green Paper have used very little empirical evidence on which to base both their arguments and suggestions, ignoring evidence which undermines the overall narrative in the documents.  Where evidence has been used it has been used extremely selectively.  She hopes that the IRiS blogs, and the research that inform them, will go some way in highlighting the strengths and flaws in the Green Paper while highlighting other actions that might be taken to achieve the Government’s goals.