Migration Puts Pressure on Areas' Social Cohesion and Services, New Report Claims; AREAS OF WALES HAVE LEVELS ABOVE AVERAGE IN THE UK

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Byline: DARREN DEVINE darren.devine@walesonline.co.uk

TOWNS and cities across Wales have "high migration clusters" putting pressure on essential services and social cohesion, according to a new report for the Home Office.

Cardiff, Ceredigion, Newport, Wrexham, Swansea and Pembrokeshire are all identified in the report as areas with "migration rates that are well above the national average".

The report, Social and Public Service Impacts of International Migration at the Local Level, marks the first attempt by officials to study the impact of different types of migration around the UK.

Cardiff is in a group of urban areas with "high rates of African and Asian migration, child and international student migration, and a high proportion of supported asylum seekers".

Ceredigion is identified within a group that "comprise student towns and coastal and semi-rural areas" with "generally higher levels of international student migration but moderate migration of other migrants". Wrexham, Swansea and Newport are classed as asylum dispersal areas with "high proportions of supported asylum seekers, high worklessness and social housing levels".

Pembrokeshire is described as a "migrant worker... countryside area" having "high levels of migration from the (new) EU accession countries", but "below average levels of migration from other countries".

Chair of the Wales Migration Partnership Aled Edwards said the evidence from the cluster areas mentioned in the report is that they have coped with the challenges.

Further, Mr Edwards said, areas such as Aberystwyth, in Ceredigion, and Cardiff, have benefited from the large numbers of international students they attract.

Also since 2002 a scheme that trains refugee doctors to work in the NHS has resulted in 77 new medics for the health service in Wales.

Mr Edwards said on a per head of population basis Wales has received far fewer migrants than other parts of the UK. Though 5% of the UK's population lives in Wales just 2% of the non-British population is based here, compared to 5% in Scotland, 2% in Northern Ireland and 91% in England. …