The government has rejected recommendations to implement further
guidelines that will force community and voluntary organisations to
work across cultural divides as a condition of grant aid,
writes Shirley Kumar.
The move would be “unnecessary and possibly
bureaucratic”, it said in its response to the Office of
Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) select committee’s Sixth Report
on Social Cohesion.
It said existing Local Government Association guidance on community
cohesion – which encourages councils to “provide
incentives to promote community cohesion and cross-cultural contact
and understanding” – was sufficient. Council officers should
make decisions on a case by case bases, it added.
It also agrees “efforts should be made to ensure community
centres cater for a range of cultural groups rather than separate
centres provided for different groups”.
The National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS),
told Community Care in May, that forcing the sector to cross
cultural divides as a condition of grant aid would be
“potentially dangerous and could reinforce segregation”
(news page 12, 20 May).
NAVCS chief executive Kevin Curley welcomed the announcement.