Northern councils urged to promote greater inclusion

Councils must do more to promote community cohesion, Grant Riches Communications Consultants director Carol Grant has urged.

Speaking at a two-day conference last week organised by the Home Office, councils in the North were warned to improve their rapport with ethnic minorities or risk losing influence to right-wing groups and media.

'Many councils are afraid of talking about community cohesion in case it stirs up trouble,' Grant told delegates. 'However, not talking about it isn't an option – if there is a vacuum, someone will fill it.'

Grant cited the linking of faith with non-faith schools, 'belonging to' campaigns and community festivals as examples of best practice.
Her warning follows those made by the Local Government Association after the London bombings (PRWeek, 22 July 2005) and the Improvement and Development Agency after the riots in Birmingham (PRWeek, 11 November 2005).

The conference, 'Cohesive Communities, the Northern Way', examined the contribution of communities to economic growth.

Grant Riches has been commissioned to publish an online best practice guide to community comms.

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