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Volume 489: debated on Thursday 19 March 2009

Today, I am publishing “Managing the Impacts of Migration: Improvements and Innovations”. It sets out the progress made across Government against the commitments made in June 2008 to support local areas managing the impacts of migration on their communities. The document also outlines new Government support on migration issues and considers how the impact of migration on local communities and the Government’s response to it has changed in the context of the economic downturn.

The document sets out our continued commitment to controlling migration at a national level, and to ensuring that UK workers have the skills needed to fill vacancies and the opportunity to apply for these vacancies where they arise. Our aim is to ensure that local communities are as resilient as possible to changes brought about by migration. This update outlines the support we are giving to local areas, including:

Announcing a migration impacts fund paid for by increases to migrant fees, providing £35 million for 2009-10 and—subject to a review in the autumn of the economic position and the migrant fees being received—a similar amount in 2010-11. This fulfils the commitment made in the Home Office’s February 2008 consultation on the path to citizenship to set up a fund to manage the transitional impacts of migration. The fund will be available to local services and will be allocated through Government offices and local strategic partnerships.

Announcing our intention to consult on setting up a new Migration Impacts Committee of independent advisers to build on the work of the migration impacts forum.

The cross Government programme led by the Office for National Statistics to improve the population and migration statistics to deliver a package of improvements to be implemented in time to feed into key statistics published in 2010 and available to inform the next three year local government finance settlement. The package announced includes technical improvements to the migration statistics, including the use of administrative sources, to produce a more robust local distribution of international migration, and better internal migration estimates.

Setting out a programme of research into what drives migration to the UK, and the geographical pattern and timescales of this migration, together with the preliminary findings of research which supports evidence from other sources that migration to the UK is falling.

Highlighting that we will shortly be issuing a consultation on reviewing the criteria for selective licensing of all privately rented property in designated areas to ensure local authorities have the tools they need to deal with problem properties.

The document has been placed in the Library of the House and can be accessed via the Communities and Local Government website at: