Councils slammed over cohesion

Councils have been criticised for not doing enough to promote community cohesion, a month after unrest ripped through Birmingham and as rioting continues around cities in France.

Few councils realise their obligation to promote community cohesion in line with an amendment made to the Race Relations Act in 2000, according to Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) head of programmes Ruby Dixon.

She added that some authorities were in denial of the problem and needed to better engage with media to tackle misconceptions and ensure accurate coverage.

'Councils need to work more closely with the media to make sure journalists do not sensationalise their coverage [of racial/religious tension and social unrest],' Dixon said.

She also warned that new technology was making it easier for extremists to mobilise and share information.

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