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Naturalising Newham

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, is on a mission to make his borough British. He thinks that if you live in Newham, the least white borough in whole of the UK, you need to speak English and integrate.

As part of this strategy he has taken away foreign language newspapers from libraries, refused to fund single 'community' public events, removed translation services in the borough and put extra money into English lessons for immigrants after central funding was withdrawn. Other efforts include a crack-down on poor housing conditions often faced by migrants.

The moves have been described both as the future of integration and as an attack on immigrants. His critics accuse him of isolating communities and trying to attract the white middle class into the borough at the expense of others.

In this documentary Catrin Nye looks at these efforts to 'Naturalise Newham' culminating in elaborate citizenship ceremonies where new residents become British. We look at the lives of people awaiting their British status and examine efforts to make the least white borough in the UK a bastion of Britishness.

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 19 Sep 2013 17:00


Role Contributor
PresenterCatrin Nye
ProducerMolly Watson

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