Cities – Halifax, Yorkshire

Cities – Halifax, Yorkshire


Many of the population of Halifax in Yorkshire originate from the Kashmir region of Pakistan and came to the area to work in themills. Most immigrants moved to the Gibbet Street district because many of the local white community had been rehoused on the peripheral estates and the houses of Gibbet Street were cheap.

This led to a situation where most immigrants came from one small region of Pakistan and there was hardly any interaction between local people and migrants, which led to conflict. Today there is still a divide but steps have been taken to get people to interact in a more positive manner. One idea that had success was a probation service scheme in which young white ex-offenders were asked to renovate a local mosque. This led to greater interaction between the two communities.

Find out about squatter settlements and the people who live in them.

In the developing world, there simply aren’t enough houses for new migrants to live in when they arrive, so squatter settlements begin to grow around the major cities. Squatter settlements are usually very poor areas where migrants have built houses themselves from whatever materials are at hand. These areas have many chronic problems including a lack of sanitisation, crime and lack of health facilities.

People who live in squatter settlements tend to live very difficult lives from people in houses, working wherever they can, foraging on refuse tips, and having their health affected by poor housing and extreme pollution. Mortality rates for children tend to be much higher than elsewhere and so are deaths by violent crime and preventable disease.

Some squatter camps have been in existence for decades, and the people who live there have worked hard to try to improve their environment. Vigilante groups are established to keep away criminals; trenches are dug to carry away sewage; and some communities have even grown flowers in an attempt to brighten up their surroundings.