RACE relations in Britain are under threat from a series of ill-informed myths, according to a new book by North West experts.

Repeated “falsehoods” about immigration are promoting racial disharmony, the academics behind the research said.

Professor Ludi Simpson and Dr Nissa Finney from the University of Manchester said there was “no evidence whatsoever” for the existence of race ghettos in the UK.

Their research found there is only one ward in East Lancashire which has a majority population of a single ethnic minority group.

This is the Whitefield ward in Pendle, which is mainly made up of Pakistani people.

However, there are other wards in the region where the majority of people are from ethnic minorities overall.

The academics also said their evidence showed there was an increase in ethnic mixing in the region, not in segregation.

Professor Simpson, a population expert, said: “The truth is that Britain’s so-called ghettos are diverse areas both ethnically and socially where no one ethnic group dominates and that is true of East Lancashire.

“By propagating myths using bogus and alarmist interpretations of population change, individuals are inadvertently promoting racial segregation.”

Dr Finney added: “The only concentrations which resemble anything like ghettos are of white people.

"The average white person lives in an area which has more than 94 per cent white people in it.

“British Pakistanis, for example, live in areas which on average have 26 per cent Pakistani residents.”

But despite their research, a community worker said there was still a lot of work to do.

In Blackburn, concern over people living ‘parallel lives’ which partly led to the creation of a special cohesion project.

Blackburn with Darwen Council launched 100 Voices, which later became Neighbourhood Voices.

The project was launched after concerns that the area’s Muslim Asian community and its white community had few points of contact leading to very little casual, social association.

And Anjum Anwar, a community cohesion worker at Blackburn Cathedral, said: “It is a fact that different communities have lived apart in East Lancashire but things are changing.

“There are a lot of projects that are ongoing to create understanding and integration between communities.

"Events that see different groups meeting in a ‘safe space’ such as the cathedral have bee a success and I can see improvements.”


MYTH: Britain has too many immigrants.

TRUTH: Less than three per cent of the world’s migrants live in the UK compared to five per cent in Germany and 20 per cent in the USA.

MYTH: Britain is becoming a country of ghettos.

TRUTH: Only eight wards in the whole country have a majority of a single minority ethnic group.

MYTH: More segregation in groups of friends.

TRUTH: For most ethnic minority young people, roughly half or more than half of their friends are white.

MYTH: Minorities want to live in segregated neighbourhoods.

TRUTH: Housing aspirations of young people from white and minority ethnic groups are very similar: they all desire safe neighbourhoods with good environments, no anti-social behaviour and to be near to family and friends.

MYTH: White flight and minority retreat.

TRUTH: The movement out of minority neighbourhoods is non-racial: it is at similar rates by each minority ethnic group and the white group.