Councils told they must develop communities

All local authorities need to take action to ensure their
policies promote community cohesion and do not lead to segregation,
according to new draft guidance, writes Lauren

The guidance, promoted as a toolkit for local authorities on how
to take the cohesion agenda forward, stresses the key role of local
authorities in building on the lessons learned from the riots in
Burnley, Oldham and Bradford last year. It was issued by the Local
Government Association, the department for transport, local
government and the regions, the home office and the Commission for
Racial Equality.

“The reports which examined the causes of last year’s
disturbances pointed to a range of factors, none of which were
unique to those towns,” the guidance says. “For this reason, none
of us can be complacent. Community cohesion is an issue that we
believe all authorities need to address.”

The guidance suggests that many local authorities’
baseline assessments will highlight a need to amend local

It calls on local authorities to elect a member and appoint a
senior officer to champion community cohesion, to involve all key
local agencies from the voluntary, community, private and public
sectors, and to make community cohesion a regular item at cabinet
and partnership meetings.

The guidance suggests using education to promote community
cohesion by ensuring that all formal education uses a curriculum
that recognises the contribution of all cultures and, where
segregated schooling exists, that inter-school activities are
developed to promote cross-cultural contact.

Finally, the guidance stresses the importance of local
authorities working closely with the police and local people to
tackle race crime and its impact on segregation.

“Where there is potential for unrest, it is often the
relationship between the local authority and the police which can
be a factor in whether conflict boils over into disturbances,” says
the report.

The draft guidance is out to consultation until 14 August and is
available from





More from Community Care

Comments are closed.