Council calls academic expert to immigration inquiry

AN academic expert on the impact of population change will answer questions on issues surrounding immigration at Boston Borough Council’s next hearing on the matter.

Professor Gary Craig, whose recent research projects have included the social and economic impacts on communities of refugees and migrants, will attend the council’s task and finish group population change meeting on Wednesday, June 27.

The meeting, open to the public, will be held at 6.30pm at the council offices in West Street and submitted questions for the professor are being encouraged.

Phil Drury, Boston Borough Council’s deputy chief executive, said: “We are fortunate to have an expert of Professor Craig’s standing attending.

“It is an opportunity for anyone to hear what he has to say and ask questions of him. He will be able to answer with authority, backed by research and fact.”

Questions for Professor Craig must be submitted by email to or in writing delivered to Municipal Buildings in West Street, Boston, no later than 5pm on Thursday, June 21, marked for Janette Collier’s attention.

Professor Craig was the first person in the world to hold a chair in social justice. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Justice at the University of Hull, joint head of the Centre for Social Inclusion and Social Justice and Associate Fellow at The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, where he has led the team working on issues of modern slavery.

He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Durham and Associate Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.

Formerly at the Universities of Bradford, York and (as Professor of Social Policy and Head of the Policy Studies Research Centre), the University of Lincoln, Professor Craig has also worked in local government and the voluntary sector, mainly in large-scale community development projects.

Among his many other posts he has been a social policy adviser to the Family Services Unit, national policy and research adviser to the Children’s Society and to Barnardo’s on anti-poverty work and the involvement of young people.

His current research interests include modern slavery, community development, poverty and race and ethnicity. His 200-plus publications include seven edited books dealing with local poverty, community care and development, social security, race, food poverty in the UK and rapidly-changing ethnic minority populations.

Major recent and current research projects include mapping ethnic minorities in rapidly-changing populations and forced labour and the Gangmaster’s Licensing Authority.

He was recently made a Trustee of the Desmond Tutu Foundation UK.

For stories on Prof Cragi’s previous visit to Boston to discuss a study into forced labour click here and click here for the story on the issue of homelessness which also came up at the meeting.