IPPR report claims community cohesion set back by the pandemic

The left leaning think tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research has today released a new report on migrant integration which suggests that community cohesion in the UK has been set back by the pandemic.

The study, which involved in-depth listening exercises in Cardiff, Oldham and Sandwell, found that the pandemic had ‘pressed pause’ on the opportunities and occasions for social contact between migrant and receiving communities.

The interviews conducted in the research were said to have revealed that lockdowns often saw people relying more on established family and friend networks, reducing a sense of broader community. It claims this problem was most acutely felt by new arrivals to the UK and particularly asylum seekers and refugees who did not have an opportunity to build connections before the pandemic struck.

To prevent community cohesion being permanently set back by the pandemic, the IPPR has called for the government to ‘jump start’ efforts to boost integration. The think tank calls for the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda to put a focus on revitalising civil society and creating the physical spaces for communities to come back together.

The IPPR is also calling for reform to the immigration system. It argues that the current ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ conditions, which leave 1.3 million people with no access to social security, must be more easily lifted for people on all forms of immigration status to ensure no one becomes destitute and everyone can feel part of society.