ODPM social cohesion report could reinforce segregation, voluntary groups warn

Forcing community and voluntary groups to work across cultural
divides as a condition of grant aid is “potentially dangerous
and could reinforce segregation”, warned the National
Association of Councils for Voluntary Service, writes
Shirley Kumar

Reacting to an inquiry into social cohesion by the Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister select committee, NACVS chief executive Kevin
Curley said: “There is a potential danger in this type of
approach. Local authorities may use it as an excuse to withdraw

“Groups that are well-funded by their local authority take
part in city- or district-wide policies. If you turn back the
clock, these groups may retreat within themselves and that will
perpetuate segregation.”

The report, launched on Friday, was set-up in response to the
riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford in 2001.

Committee chair Andrew Bennett MP told Community Care: “It
is not an excuse for local authorities to cut grants, but they must
make sure when making grant allocations that they serve all

“Providing aid to a religious organisation is acceptable,
but providing grants for a separate luncheon club specifically for
an ethnic minority elderly group, as an example, is not.”

The report adds that the Audit Commission should put social
cohesion on a par with performance in education and social services
in the comprehensive performance assessment process.

N Sixth report on Social Cohesion from

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.