Integrated Communities Green Paper and Action Plan
In 2019, the Government launched its Integrated Communities Action Plan, which sets out 70 actions it will deliver to promote integration. These include increasing access to English language learning, strengthening local leadership and providing better support and information to people who are new to the UK. The Action Plan follows on from the Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper and consultation, published in 2018. It is backed by £50m of funding from Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government and additional funding from other Government departments as they develop and implement their own commitments to build integrated communities.
Local integration plans are being rolled out in five pilot areas (Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest), and initiatives also include supporting the set up of a Cohesion and Integration Network (Belong) to disseminate learning and expertise and an Innovation Fund, to support innovative projects that increase integration and lessen segregation.
You can find out more about each of the Integration Areas and their plans by following the links below:
A number of cities have also developed cohesion and integration strategies independent of the Integrated Communities Strategy and sometimes in response to specific events:
Following the attack at Manchester Arena in May 2017 the Greater Manchester Authority set up a commission to review the state of cohesion in the area and their report and associated recommendations, A Shared Future, a report of the Greater Manchester Preventing Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion was produced in 2018.
Birmingham City Council also produced a new strategy in 2018. This was entitled Community Cohesion Strategy for Birmingham and this stated; ‘Together we will make a commitment to ensure that Birmingham becomes stronger and more resilient, and is a place where people from different backgrounds can come together to improve things for themselves and their communities.’
The London Mayor describes social integration as a top priority for him and the City and All of Us: The Mayor’s Strategy for Social Integration was launched in March 2018.
The Casey Review, 2016
Prior to the Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper, Dame Louise Casey undertook a review of integration, which was published by the Government in 2016. In her report, Dame Casey criticised the Government’s failure to keep up with the pace and scale of immigration, resulting in increasingly divided communities and growing intolerance. Some of Casey’s recommendations have been included in the new Action Plan.
An Executive Summary of the Casey Review is available in our resource centre here.
Community Cohesion, 2001-2010
Prior to the rise of Prevent, community cohesion had been an important part of central and local government policy. The agenda was embraced following a report written by Professor Ted Cantle in 2001, looking into the causes of a number of riots and disturbances in the north of England. Community cohesion focuses on building positive relationships in communities, fostering a shared sense of belonging, and ensuring that diversity is respected and valued. This approach was mainstreamed into policies and services across, for example, sport, faith, housing, equalities, education and the national curriculum, health and social care. Community cohesion shifted the focus away from multiculturalism and had a far-reaching impact in the UK and internationally. There is currently a renewed interest in community cohesion in the context of the Government’s new integration strategy and action plan.
Professor Ted Cantle’s original 2001 report, is available in our resource centre here
For a succinct account of the development and implementation of cohesion policy agendas, see the website of Professor Ted Cantle here