Review of the Papers, Thursday 20 September


  • The first comprehensive official analysis of the impact of migration on public services and British life will be published next month, Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, promised yesterday. The study, by the Migration Impacts Forum, is expected to identify where public services, including housing, health, education and policing, are struggling to cope. It is also expected to publish a report on challenges to community cohesion prepared by Rodney Green, chief executive of Leicester city council, which has been projected to become Europe's first city with a non-white majority population within three years.,,2172825,00.html
  • An academic observer of Britain's nuclear consultation has said that information given to the public was biased and incomplete, casting fresh doubt on whether the the government has followed a court ruling to present both sides of the argument. Paul Dorfman, senior research fellow at the National Centre for Involvement at the University of Warwick, said the exercise 12 days ago in nine cities around Britain was designed to come up with a popular mandate to proceed with nuclear power. "Partial information was rammed down the public's throat. It was totally impractical for people to make a rational decision based on the information they were fed. The way it was put together was designed so that a particular view would emerge," said Dr Dorfman, who has convened an academic group who will report next month on the process. The consultation suggested that 45% of the public is in favour of nuclear power, and 23% against - very different from most polls in the last 20 years.,,2173018,00.html

Lib Dems

  • Shoppers could pay a tax every time they get a plastic bag under controversial "green" plans approved by the Liberal Democrats. Grassroots delegates at the party's annual conference in Brighton urged party bosses to consider an Irish-style tax on plastic bags. Dublin introduced a plastic bag levy five years ago to end the litter menace generated by the bags. Lib Dems have put the fight against global warming centre-stage at their week-long conference, which has the slogan: The Environment - Action Now. But the new tax move, announced during a debate on packaging, came in the face of warnings that the levy would actually worsen carbon emissions. Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem MP leading a campaign against excess packaging, said that the tax could simply lead to shoppers switching to other bags and actually lead to more pollution.