31 August 2012

Wales praises UK immigration and cultural diversity

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Following the release of the most recent UK immigration figures Welsh politicians have took the opportunity to pay tribute to the growing diversity in many Welsh cities.

UK immigration

Cardiff council has praised the city's growing diversity.

The Office for National Statistics published its quarterly UK immigration report yesterday and while the debate over the Government's efforts to reduce net migration are unlikely to subside any time soon, Welsh politicians feel there is plenty to be pleased about.

"Diversity is a sign of a dynamic and tolerant nation and is something that should be celebrated," said a spokesperson for Plaid Cymru.

"Plaid Cymru believe that it's important to strike a balance between attracting the best people to Wales in order to boost our industry and economy while ensuring that existing citizens are treated with due respect and fairness.

"That means looking after those who already live here by making sure that they have opportunities to improve themselves as well as providing a welcoming environment for people who share our goals for a better society - wherever they come from."

The ONS' latest report shows a more than 50% increase in the foreign born population in Wales, 155,000 up from 99,000 in just 2004. Wales is home to 15,000 people born in India, as well as a further 15,000 born in Poland and 7,000 born in Pakistan.

Wales is a relatively sparsely populated country so it is little surprise that the greatest levels of diversity in Wales are concentrated around the larger cities, particularly Cardiff.

Over a quarter of all births in the Welsh capital city in 2011 were to mothers who were born overseas, keeping pace with the overall British average. Cardiff is also home to the largest share of non-British residents with 27,000, almost 8% of the city's entire population.

"Cardiff has the accolade of having been a cosmopolitan city for more than a century," said a Cardiff city council spokesperson.

"It is important that the allocation of local government funding recognises the needs of local communities and it is important that a realistic assessment of the impact of this current development is undertaken and that appropriate funds are made available to meet those needs in order that Cardiff can continue to boasts in international credentials, as well as enhancing the cultural richness of its local communities."

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