Report into riots calls for new `cohesion` plans

A home office report into the riots in the summer has called on
Bradford, Burnley and Oldham councils to publish plans for
promoting community cohesion by next April, writes
Jonathan Pearce

All local authorities should develop a relevant strategy as part
of their community plans, the report says.

The community cohesion review team, chaired by former Nottingham
Council chief executive Ted Cantle, has made almost 70
recommendations for action to improve community relations.

While the team was not surprised to find physical segregation of
housing estates and inner city areas, it was “particularly struck
by the depth of polarisation of our towns and cities”, says the

These physical divisions were compounded by other aspects, such
as separate educational arrangements, community and voluntary
bodies, employment, places of worship, language, and social and
cultural networks, with the result that “many communities operate
on the basis of a series of parallel lives”.

“These lives do not seem to touch at any point, let alone
overlap and promote any meaningful interchanges,” the report

Launching the report, Cantle said: “There is no common cause to
the problems. There is no common solution.”

But the report points to a “failure to communicate”, which is
“compounded by the lack of honest and robust debate, as people
‘tiptoe around’ the sensitive issues of race, religion
and culture”.

Among the sources of blame is a lack of local leadership and the
report calls on the Local Government Association to prepare best
practice guidance to help councils promote community cohesion.

In addition, the report criticises neighbourhood renewal and
regeneration initiatives for a confusing “plethora of initiatives”,
and perceived unfairness in the allocation of funds, as well as
forcing different communities to bid against each other.

‘Community Cohesion and Building Cohesive Communities’ available
from the home office by clicking







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