; Kirklees Community Cohesion Strategy
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Kirklees Community Cohesion Strategy


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									Selby District Local Strategic Partnership Social Inclusion and Cohesion Strategy

Prepared by Drew Fussey, Safer and Stronger Communities Coordinator, Selby District Council


Foreword This document seeks to set out what is meant by Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion and illustrate how these issues affect Selby district. It gives details of the future actions which we, the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) will take when working to promote both social inclusion and community cohesion. By adopting good practice we aim to make a positive difference to people‟s daily lives and to create the circumstances in which the different communities in Selby district can flourish together in harmony. We will take practical steps to make sure the communities‟ hopes and ambitions are fulfilled. We will closely monitor the progress we make, and will share what we have learnt with everyone. Our overriding aims in relation to social inclusion and community cohesion are to:  reduce individual isolation;  minimise community tensions; and  lower the likelihood of local disorder that leads to violent extremism. To achieve this everyone will need a sense of belonging to their community and feel that Selby district is a welcoming and enjoyable place to live and work. Achieving a stronger, safer, more inclusive and cohesive society will be part of a wider long-term journey that builds on local, regional and national strategies.


Index 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 15.1 16.0 17.0 18.0 What is meant by Social Inclusion? Introduction to Community Cohesion Profile of Selby district Demographics Accessibility/ Transport Links Retail and Leisure Social Infrastructure The way forward for Selby district Supporting the communities of Selby district What will be the implications for each locality? How will we achieve our Objectives? Preventing violent extremism Where do we stand locally? Tackling inequalities How this strategy and its priorities have been developed Continuing involvement Legal responsibilities How we will monitor progress Accountability

Appendix 1 - Action Plan (to be developed after strategy has been agreed) Key contacts


1. 1.1

What is meant by Social Inclusion? Social Inclusion is about working to break the cycle of social exclusion. The Government has defined social exclusion as “a shorthand term for what can happen when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, bad health and family breakdown…” (Social Exclusion Unit, 2001). Often these problems are linked and mutually reinforcing, therefore creating a vicious cycle in people‟s lives. When considering the profile of Selby district it is also important to recognise that rural isolation (where public services, shops, transport and leisure opportunities are inaccessible due to your rural location) can also contribute towards social exclusion and deprivation. Social inclusion is a process whereby the varying needs of a community are recognised, prioritised and met. It is the positive management of diversity, encouraging cohesion, therefore reducing the likelihood of exclusion. Social exclusion affects all areas of a person‟s life and the wider society. It can impact upon an individual for example leading to them not reaching their educational potential, resulting in higher risks of unemployment, poorer physical health and a greater likelihood to experience crime. The government has noted that transitions such as changing schools, leaving school, becoming a parent, relationship breakdown and retirement are times when people are most at risk of becoming excluded. Similarly the government has noted that people with multiple disadvantages are less likely to access services and receive the support they need. Social exclusion can occur through disability or chronic health problems, people who lack skills or qualifications and people from some ethnic minority groups. Social exclusion affects everybody, not just those directly experiencing the difficulties. It is economically inefficient since it can affect people‟s health and behaviour, and that of the next generation. It can therefore result in increased costs of welfare and health services, which may impact on society as a whole by escalating problems such as crime and drugs. We want to enhance






social inclusion and help individuals and communities become more cohesive enabling them to thrive in the way they wish. 2 2.1 Introduction to Community Cohesion Social inclusion is an important part of community cohesion. If individuals feel excluded from their community they are more likely disrupt their community, therefore leading to reduced cohesion and increased tensions. The Home Office states that “community cohesion describes the ability of communities to function and grow in harmony together rather than in conflict. It has strong links to concepts of equality and diversity given that community cohesion can only grow when society as a whole recognises that individuals have the right to equality and respects and appreciates the diverse nature of our communities.” In addition, the Local Government Association has defined key characteristics around a cohesive community, that:



 there is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;  the diversity of people‟s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and positively valued;  those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and  strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds and circumstances in the workplace, schools and in neighbourhoods. 2.4 Community cohesion means different things in different areas. It is strongest when people have the opportunity to engage and participate as fully as they wish and on an equal basis with others.


3 3.1

Profile of Selby District Overall, Selby which is located in the County of North Yorkshire, is an affluent district with very low levels of social exclusion compared with England as a whole. Unemployment, poverty, poor health, poor housing, unacceptable behaviour and crime are all significantly below the national average. The district is peppered with individuals and groups that face social exclusion. Consequently the district has inhabitants with parallel lives; those who are included and those who are structurally excluded. There are areas in the district that experience higher levels of social exclusion. These need to be addressed to make our communities more sustainable, and to improve individual‟s quality of life. As a mainly rural district, Selby covers 59,931 hectares. It has three main towns -Selby, Sherburn in Elmet and Tadcaster. The district lies at the heart of Yorkshire and occupies a strategic position within the Yorkshire and Humber and Leeds City Region areas. The majority of the 78,000 population is dispersed throughout the district in the many significant villages and remote hamlets. The Government Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that 75.6% of people in the Selby district live in „less sparse‟ rural areas; compared to an average of 18% across the Yorkshire and Humber region. Demographics Selby district‟s population is predominantly of white (99.2%) ethnic origin; the tenth highest percentage out of all 376 districts in England and Wales. The most prevalent ethnic minority group is Chinese (at 0.2% or 115 people). The small ethnic minority population is scattered across the district‟s towns, villages and hamlets. The percentage split is not expected to rise significantly to 2030. The increased numbers of Eastern European migrant workers and their families has been hard to accurately calculate over the last two years. However with the present economic climate it is predicted this trend will stop. Currently it is estimated that 1,500 (source) migrant workers and their families are now living in the district. At the 2001 Census, 41% of the district‟s population was aged over 45. Whilst the numbers of those aged 0-19 in the district is expected


4 4.1



to remain around 18/19% to the year 2020, the percentages of those over 55 is expected to rise from 22% in 2005 to 28% in 2020. 4.3 Other relevant demographic information includes:  There are three Traveller sites in the district at Brotherton, Carlton and Burn. It is estimated that there are around 20 caravans at each site and that the Traveller population is around 240 people.  4% are economically inactive due to disabilities and permanent sickness.  Within Selby the largest faith community is Christian (81% of the population) 11% of the population professed to have no faith.  We do not have accurate figures to reflect the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. 5 5.1 Accessibility / Transport Links Public transport within the district is a main priority when considering issues of social exclusion due to the rural nature of the district. The district‟s transport network is poor with limited bus service between the towns. This a particular issue for those needing to access public transport in the more rural areas of the district. Community transport services across the district do ensure smaller villages have some transport links to the larger settlements. However, these services can be infrequent and evidence suggests that potential isolation and exclusion may occur for some groups. Retail and Leisure The main retail focus within the district is Selby town, though Sherburn and Tadcaster also make smaller scale contributions. Many residents also travel to retail outlets just beyond the district boundaries such as the Freeport Castleford Designer Outlet and The Designer Outlet, York. There are a large range of both public and private sports and leisure clubs within the district serving local needs. In particular there are leisure centres in Selby Town and Tadcaster. In addition, rural centres provide community halls and facilities for their own residents and those from smaller villages nearby. Social Infrastructure

6 6.1





The Selby district is not recognised as a deprived area. In the 2004 assessment of the least deprived areas in Britain it was ranked 265th out of 354. This is supported by a higher than average household income, low unemployment, low crime levels and a well educated work force. It is also reflected by a longer life expectancy and a lower mortality rate compared to the UK average. It is important to note that in rural areas social exclusion is marked by surrounding affluence, so serious deprivation can go undetected by national indicators. The way forward for Selby district Our approach is to improve service design and delivery. Extending the reach of what works to those who need it most, to improve social inclusion and community cohesion as part of a wider corporate structure. This strategy is designed to support those principles. Below gives details of how the strategy will move forward. With our partners we will:  Lead with confidence on inclusion and cohesion matters.  Make sure outcomes in the inclusion and cohesion strategy and action plan are delivered.  Enable the community to respond effectively to threats to inclusion and cohesion values.  Strengthen the bonds between partner organisations which deliver inclusion and cohesion activities.  Challenge myths and change public perceptions.  Contribute locally, regionally and nationally to the inclusion and cohesion agenda. Our local residents will:  Be able to contribute to the development of their locality and community.  Be more involved in how services are developed and provided.  Feel that services and resources are accessed and distributed fairly.  Feel safe living and travelling in Selby district.  Increasingly get on well with and respect people from other communities.

8 8.1




 Have empathy for people who are disadvantaged or vulnerable, whatever their background.  Develop a greater sense of belonging to Selby district as a whole.  Feel that inequalities are being dealt with positively to the benefit of everyone.  Make the most of their opportunities to prosper and enjoy life in Selby district. 8.4 Our employees of LSP organisations will:  Understand what social inclusion and community cohesion means and apply the principles to their work.  Be able to talk confidently about social inclusion and community cohesion and make suggestions to improve and support it.  Understand the vision for social inclusion and community cohesion and their own contribution towards it. Supporting the communities of Selby district By helping to create opportunities for the whole community we can build the confidence in individuals. These people can then take active roles within their communities that in-turn take responsibility for developing stronger, sustainable community relations. Throughout Selby district there are many traditions and values. At the same time newcomers to the district have their own customs and values. Everyone in the district has the right to have their traditions, customs and values understood respected. To achieve this it is important to:  Develop a common set of values and civic responsibilities, resulting in a shared sense of belonging and greater mutual respect.  Educate people to so they understand why people have different traditions, customs and values to help build tolerance, acceptance and understand what is and is not acceptable behaviour.  Improve access to services and life opportunities for everyone.  Enable everyone to have a say in how their locality is run. This will give a stronger sense of local identity and help increase pride in the places people live and work.

9 9.1





Selby district‟s population is changing faster than any other area in the Yorkshire and Humber region (Office for National Statistics, 2007). We will use this as a source of strength, and will harness everyone‟s potential to contribute to the common values of safety and security in existing and emerging communities. Achieving a sustainable, inclusive and cohesive society is a long-term journey. It will involve tackling underlying inequalities and tensions, and will require strong and effective engagement with all partners in each locality to be successful. What will be the implications for each locality?


10.1 Using national best practice and government guidance we will adopt an area/locality approach. The localities will follow the established boundaries of Community Investment Partnership (CIPs). These boundaries have already proved popular and successful with several engagement initiatives and will be the best way to tackle such issues in the district. Working strictly at a neighbourhood level would be unlikely to work due to the spread of population across the district and the consequent dispersed nature of the problems that lead to social exclusion and community tensions. 10.2 We recognise that each area/locality will have different needs. Therefore it is important that we, along with communities develop a shared understanding of the issues. Working in this way means that isolation and local tensions can be identified, discussed and addressed.



How will we achieve our Objectives?

11.1 To achieve our objectives, we have developed five themes. Each theme will focus effort into activities that will deliver practical and measurable outcomes. The themes are: 1 Leadership and communication: Strong leadership and effective communication will be essential to reduce individual exclusion whilst enhancing and maintaining community cohesion. Intergenerational issues: We will make sure that younger people are at the core of bringing communities together along with older people, helping them to be optimistic about the future, value the difference between the generations building an understanding of how diversity builds a stronger, resilient community. Community, faith, voluntary sector organisations and diversity: We will energize our partnership working with all groups and sectors to positively promote social inclusion and community cohesion. Positive sense of belonging: We will help all communities to develop a positive sense of belonging locally and encourage people from different backgrounds to come together more on a day-to-day basis. Preventing and managing tensions and high-risk areas: A wide range of organisation and agencies will work together to develop „early warning‟ systems that highlight underlying causes of social exclusion and community tensions. This information will then be used to prevent and reduce the potential for local disorder or more serious extremist activities. Each of the five themes will have detailed actions (see appendix 2) to support their implementation. These initial themes will be reviewed with other related issues regularly to make sure we are dealing appropriately with the right areas of social exclusion and concerns of the community.








Preventing violent extremism

12.1 We cannot ignore the development of extremism in British society. We recognise our collective responsibility to tackle the underlying causes. Preventing violent extremism is a significant factor in the development of this strategy. 12.2 Extremism within society is not restricted to any one part of the community. It makes cohesion harder to achieve. We need a strengthening of our communities alongside a partnership approach if we are to substantially reduce the risk of individuals and groups becoming involved in extremist activities. We are committed to developing a North Yorkshire/Selby District „Prevent‟ strategy, as part of the wider counter terrorism strategy.


Where do we stand locally?

13.1 We have a range of data and information from national and local sources. This data, our local knowledge and the information produced by the Institute of Community Cohesion have helped us to identify local challenges. Selby district has seen a significant change in the make-up of its population as stated earlier. Understanding and developing the change in social needs and issues, and changing economic conditions will become even more problematic over time. By recognising these current and forthcoming changes, together with the information in the recent study by the Institute of Community Cohesion, this strategy can highlight a number of significant issues for us to tackle.


13.2 These issues include:  Separation and isolation across communities.  People living parallel lives within communities.  Under-achievement in education for certain groups.  Concerns about extremism.  Segregation by types of housing.  Housing standards. 13.3 The voluntary sector and faith communities are contributing to positive community relations with „Selby Together‟ as a posative example which others might follow; this is a key area to build on. Along with other community groups, we will increase support and partnership working across all sectors to make sure cohesion is an essential part of the work that all bodies and groups carry out. 13.4 The way resources are allocated to particular areas and initiatives can act as a potential cause of community tensions. It is vital that we are open and clearly explain the reasons why funds or support are allocated to a particular locality or part of the community at any given time. It is important to recognise there will always be different issues and tensions in different areas at any one time 2. This key finding supports one of the principal aims of this strategy, which is to develop appropriate priorities and actions in each locality for each local situation. 14 Tackling inequalities

14.1 We are committed to tackling inequalities and disadvantage in our community in a fair, transparent and positive manner. The emphasis will be as much on raising achievement and aspirations, as it will be on working to narrow the gap between those who are disadvantaged and the rest of the community. 14.2 We are carrying out work across the district which is designed to tackle the issues of disadvantage and inequality. This is being done in areas such as early years and education, employment, health, housing, crime and criminal justice. We will monitor, encourage and influence this work through the LSP. The Selby district „Sustainable Community Strategy‟ is committed to tackling these fundamental issues.


14.3 With early years and education we know that attainment rates in Selby district are below the national average. This is particularly so in disadvantaged areas, and we will keep up our efforts to increase levels of attainment at all key stages and in A-level, adult, career and vocational education. Our aim is to reach or exceed national averages and to reduce variations between communities. 14.4 Improving employment opportunities for all is vital to the prosperity of all our communities. We will make a positive difference by:  Increasing the number of new businesses in Selby district.  Providing people with appropriate skills.  Supporting local entrepreneurs, university staff and students, and social enterprise. 14.5 Housing is also a vital part of helping social inclusion and community cohesion. Currently there is an ongoing programme to:  Increase in the number of affordable homes in Selby district.  Improve in the standard of both public and private housing.  Promote of social inclusion and sustainable neighbourhoods. 14.6 Activities through the LSP will also continue to tackle a range of issues to reduce crime and help people feel safer in their homes and communities. 14.7 We acknowledge that by increasing equality within our communities we will help to strengthen our local economy, bring greater social cohesion and improve well being and quality of life for all. 15 How this strategy and its priorities have been developed

15.1 Continuing involvement This strategy and its priorities will evolve over time. It is vital that everyone involved in its development plays an active role in monitoring progress and shaping its direction in years to come. 15.2 It is important that we make the most of opportunities for the whole community to become involved in developing and monitoring this strategy.


15.3 We will use a variety of methods to engage with all sections of the community to make sure a wide range of opinions and views are represented. 15.4 Representatives from all groups, partners, and voluntary and community organisations will be brought together each year to assess progress and to get the chance to help set priorities. 16 Legal responsibilities

16.1 The inclusion and cohesion agenda is directly linked to the equality and diversity agenda. National and local evidence shows that we must tackle the inequalities within our communities in order to bring about real change. 16.2 Statutory and voluntary organisations through the LSP have a crucial role in making sure that the principles of equality and cohesion form a fundamental part of all structures, programmes, projects, policies and strategies. Furthermore, recognising and valuing diversity must be central to Local Authority employment practices and service delivery. 16.3 Meeting our legal responsibilities will undoubtedly help us tackle the underlying inequalities in our communities. However, there are specific duties on cohesion: a primary one being the duty to promote community cohesion in schools and their governing bodies as part of the Education and Inspection Act 2006. The three key aspects for schools to address are: Teaching, learning and curriculum  Helping children and young people to learn to understand others and to value diversity.  Promoting shared values.  Promoting awareness of human rights and to apply and defend them. Equality and excellence  To ensure equal opportunities for everyone to succeed at the highest level possible. Engagement and extended services


 To provide reasonable ways for children and younger people, and their friends and families, to interact with people from different backgrounds and build positive relationships. 16.4 Equal citizens – Different needs, embedding an equality and diversity enabling framework with all partners. 17 How we will monitor progress

17.1 No matter how effective the actions we take to improve community cohesion, we need a clear and straightforward way to monitor progress. Consistent and regular monitoring must take account of individual interventions and the difference they are making. Effective monitoring must also demonstrate how relationships between communities are improving. Each theme in this strategy has its own set of indicators and measures to help assess progress. We will regularly report the information gathered against these indicators to appropriate bodies across the LSP, and the results will be made public. 17.2 The indicators for each theme will be supported by the partnership, which will regularly look at information as part of the Local Area Agreement. The Local Area Agreement already has the headline indicator: “The proportion of people who feel that there local area is a place where people from different backgrounds and different ages get on well together”. Localised performance indicators have also been developed for the five key themes within the strategy and the associated longer-term action plan. 17.3 It is not enough to develop and measure clear indicators on cohesion and inclusion. The partnership will:  Develop a strong learning culture on cohesion.  Share information with other relevant bodies.  Act on the data it receives as part of the monitoring process; and  Seek information from other bodies up and down the country to promote best practice and to ensure we are continuing to improve. 18 Accountability


18.1 Social inclusion and community cohesion is being put at the heart of all the activities and services we provide. As well as having a strong monitoring regime to assess progress, it is essential to be clear about the responsibilities we all have in strengthening community relations. 18.2 The equality and diversity enabling framework „Equal Citizens – Different Needs‟ has already set out the main responsibilities for key stakeholders. The areas covered in this framework set out how everyone can actively promote diversity and cohesion. 18.3 Being clear about the responsibilities that everyone has, combined with a strong monitoring process, will help cohesion issues to be embedded in both employment and service delivery. Once this approach becomes custom and practice there will be significant positive outcomes for all communities.


Links to supporting information still to be developed Appendix 1 - Action Plan Key contacts
Drew Fussey, Safer and Stronger Communities Coordinator, Selby District Council TEL:01757 292151 email: dfussey@selby.gov.uk The consultation will end on Monday 23 March 2009


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