Abstracts: December 6th, 2006

Meg Munn, Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, speaking at a Local Government Information Unit conference, said that local authorities are best placed to understand the particular migration challenges their city, town or neighbourhood faces. It is only at a local level that tensions relating to migration can be felt and addressed. Only local authorities have the democratic mandate to co-ordinate differing interests, reconcile diverse views and provide the space for open debate and dialogue.She highlighted principles on which councils have based their success in responding to migration challenges. They include strong leadership and engagement, developing shared values, building understanding and resilience across communities, planning how to respond in a crisis and tackling inequalities.

It is crucially important for best practice to be shared between councils who have experience of immigration, and those for whom the experience is recent.

The full text of the speech is available at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1504761