Abstracts: May 28th, 2008

This publication from Communities and Local Government is a part of the government’s commitment to provide local areas with the support they need to respond to their own particular cohesion challenges. It focuses on what councils could do to both prevent and respond to local issues. It seeks to encourage local authorities to be aware of who is living in their area and how they interact and get on.

The guidance stresses the importance of tracking and monitoring local trends, being alert to potential tension ‘hot spots’ and working with a range of people to agree actions to manage tensions. Early intervention is vital in preventing community based conflicts that can lead to problems with integration and general cohesion within communities.

The guidance focuses on the importance of better planning including, better use of local data, greater sharing of information and feedback from police, neighbourhood wardens and community workers. Figures on employment, investment in the area and levels of political extremism can all point to changing attitudes.

Responses to the issue of cohesion should include bringing together all key players in the community, from local government agencies, the police and community and faith groups. All these players are well placed to keep a watchful eye on tension levels across the community on an ongoing basis. Should issues arise, they will be better positioned to lend support to deal with them.

The publication is available from DCLG. http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/797752