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Guidance on Community Cohesion

June 30, 2017

The Local Government Association in association with ODPM, Home Office, CRE and Inter Faith Network.

The broad working definition is that a cohesive community is one where:

there is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;

the diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued;

those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and

strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different

backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods

This can be achieved by:

creating opportunities for people from different communities to connect, meet openly and honestly to discuss issues and concerns that affect them all. It could be that different groups have different priorities and concerns; and

consulting with all groups, including ethnic minority communities, to involve them in service planning and policy development as part of the requirement to involve people in shaping local services, particularly through partnership working and community development

Elect a member champion to lead on community cohesion work. Appoint a senior officer (and possibly a small team) to work with him or her.

Set up a programme of introductory talks or seminars about community cohesion.

Unity in diversity should be the theme – the message must be that cultural pluralism and integration are not incompatible. Values, principles and standards from a public authority’s race equality, disability discrimination and gender equality schemes will also be relevant.

Promote use of local places of worship by schools and youth organisations as a resource in teaching the values of diversity.

Establish and sustain a strong local inter faith structure for inter faith co-operation and mechanism for consultation with faith communities by the local authority and other local public bodies.

Youth workers have a crucial role to play in helping to build trust and respect across communities. Having sufficient youth provision is clearly essential. It also needs to be accessible and accessed by people from different backgrounds. Youth services should monitor the extent to which take up varies by socio-economic or ethnic group.  In some parts of the country, youth provision can become segregated – with local youth clubs staffed by a particular ethnic group servicing the needs of that particular ethnic group.  Assisted by the greater emphasis on detached youth work, there is a significant potential for youth workers to help break down such divisions – by tailoring provision so that it helps people from different backgrounds interact.

 

Art, sport and leisure services can be a powerful tool to engage all sections of the community and to break down barriers that exist between them. People take part in leisure and cultural activities through choice and marginalised groups are often more willing to engage with such activities than other locally/nationally government funded activities.

It can provide personal and community development through different avenues and the personal space to express and share experiences. The sector is also one of the fastest growing areas of the economy and therefore provides job opportunities

The teaching of citizenship in all primary schools and as a statutory subject in secondary schools. Citizenship education within the National Curriculum will develop and encourage pupils’ understanding and mutual respect of each other’s differences (How very optimistic and typically New Labour)

Reform the planning system to enable local authorities to be more directive in specifying the mix of property types, sizes and tenure required for particular sites.

Suitable and affordable childcare provision for all age groups can play a crucial role in maximising employment opportunities for parents. This is also important when parents are training, or retraining, and studying for employment.

It’s online here

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From → Inter Faith

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