Dispatches from UK Cities

April 12th, 2010

Settling In. Pulling together more than three years’ research on emerging communities, a new report Making a Contribution explores migrants’ sense of belonging and identity within UK cities. As for new migrants, a new report by independent researcher Dr Zubaida Haque, finds that success in integration remains intrinsically linked to the existing situation of settled migrant communities. In this context it is interesting to note that short-term migration is becoming the new norm in the UK according to a new report by policy and research organization ippr.

Insider Perspectives. The use of visual media to connect migrants, both new and settled, with their neighbours is becoming increasingly prevalent in British cities. Recent exhibitions in London and Preston have focused on ethnically diverse and economically deprived areas, creating photo and video projects that give a sympathetic slice of their life from an insider’s perspective.

Financial Literacy. Money management and advice has been the government’s major focus this month, with the launch of Financial Services Authority (FSA)’s Money Guidance scheme. Particularly popular is its online incarnation Moneymadeclear, which has been much-lauded on popular money-saving websites.

However, as a new report from the Runnymede Trust’s Financial Inclusion team will explain, ethnic minorities and new migrants are best placed to lose out on the benefits the scheme has to offer.

Corporate Partners. It seems that certain multinational private companies are also exploring the role they have to play in providing networks and advice resources for migrants. Shipping company Anglopacific is holding a series of seminars on migration in cities up and down the UK, using the international nature of its business as a springboard for discussion, not to mention good marketing.

In the world of remittances, greater legitimacy has been given to mobile payments as the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has partnered with an independent microfinance centre based at the World Bank to encourage mobile remittances.

Further evidence of the dominance of mobile payments for developing world remittances can be found in Filipino telecom company Globe widening its net so that UK residents can now make mobile transfers to the Philippines.

Good Ideas. Back in the capital, the London living wage campaign is running a spin-off website encouraging businesses to become recognised as living wage employers.

Meanwhile Faisal Rahman of Fair Finance, who will be contributing to our upcoming webinar on financial inclusion, has written for the Guardian newspaper’s website about UK banks’ lack of impetus to service the country’s poor.

This Regional Dispatch is from Nina Kelly, Runnymede Trust.

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