Headlines: September 20th, 2005

Leading councillors are to get the opportunity for better understanding of community cohesion. The scheme has been developed by the Improvement and Development Agency in the light of reports following the 2001 disturbances in Burnley, Oldham and Bradford, which revealed a lack of interaction between people from different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds.The IdeA believes community cohesion is crucial to promoting greater knowledge, respect and contact between the various cultures, and to establish a greater sense of citizenship. Its new focused Leadership Academy programme has been designed for senior council members, who have to develop strategies for community cohesion and put them into operation, and for opposition leaders, chairs of scrutiny committees and others interested in the subject.

Those taking part will discuss key issues around community cohesion and will hear from leading experts including Richard Tomlins, Professor of Race, Diversity and Housing at De Montfort University in Leicester, Ted Cantle, Visiting Professor of Community Cohesion at Coventry University, Trevor Montague, Interim Director at the Institute for Community Cohesion and Maureen Hirsch, who is a district councillor and a former Director of Training at the Refugee Council.

The councillors will not only develop awareness of the community cohesion agenda and the issues of multiculturalism and identity but also identify the relationship of that agenda to political and other contexts. On a personal level they will clarify issues and challenges of their own situation and their role as leaders and devise a personal action plan.

The two days of training will take place on November 14th and 15th at the Warwick Conference Centre in Coventry. Conseq http://www.conseq.co.uk