Policy

Bringing people together in strong, united communities

Issue

We want to achieve more integrated communities and to create the conditions for everyone to live and work successfully alongside each other.

Integration is a vital local issue and requires a local response. Although government has an important role to play, we want local communities to identify the issues which affect their area and to shape their own response.

Actions

We believe that people can come together in strong, united communities if we encourage and support them to:

  • have shared aspirations, values and experiences
  • have a strong sense of mutual commitments and obligations, promoting personal and social responsibility
  • take part in local and national life and decision-making
  • fulfil their potential to get on in life
  • challenge extremism and hate crime

We believe that action to achieve strong communities is usually most effective when it is led by the people it most concerns. But in a few cases government also provides funding and support for activities to demonstrate ways to promote community integration. These projects are in partnership with businesses, voluntary organisations and communities.

Some of the main projects we support are listed below. You can see also see a full list of projects.

Promoting shared aspirations, values and experiences

We’re supporting national Inter Faith Week, held every November, to bring people of different faiths together to serve their communities and learn more about each other.

Promoting responsibility

Together in Service is a 3-year programme to celebrate and link up faith-based social action. A Together in Service fund of up to £300,000 over 3 years is available in the form of small grants for multi-faith projects. Up to £1,000 will be on offer to help get local projects off the ground in areas where there may be a lack of confidence or knowledge in undertaking volunteering work in a multi-faith way.

Helping people realise their potential

On 15 January 2013, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles made a speech in which he stressed how fundamental being able to communicate in English is to enabling individuals to fulfil their potential, to get on and to participate in their local communities. He announced a competition for community-based English language teaching organisations to bid for a share of up to £6 million in government grant funding.

Helping people take part in local and national life and decision-making

We’re giving young people a chance to work together and learn about responsibility, through a £10 million grant over 2 and a half years to support Youth United, whose member organisations include the Scouts Association, Girlguiding UK, Army Cadets, Volunteer Police Cadets and St John Ambulance. Youth United will set up 400 new cadets units, recruit 2,700 adult volunteers and provide 10,800 more places for young people.

Tackling extremism and hate crime

We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the freedom to live free from hostility or harassment.

Projects aimed at tackling extremism and intolerance include:

Promoting faith and the freedom to pray

Faith groups are involved in a huge range of activities and projects to improve communities, and we are providing them support to promote and celebrate their faith.

We have given all major local councils in England a ‘general power of competence’. This should give them the freedom to include prayers as part of their formal meetings, if they wish.

Reducing inequalities faced by the gypsy and traveller community

We set up a dedicated ministerial group in November 2011 to coordinate action across government to help improve the life chances of gypsies and traveller communities. In April 2012, the group published a progress report that includes 28 commitments from across government that will help service providers to work more effectively with these communities.

Future actions

Promoting understanding of British life and values

We are looking at how the settlement and citizenship process and ‘Life in the UK Test’ can better promote an understanding not just of English language, but also of British life and of the values and principles which underlie British society.

Supporting ethnic minority entrepreneurs

We’re looking at what more could be done to support ethnic minority entrepreneurs, including examining any barriers to black and ethnic minority groups accessing business finance.

Background

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published Creating the conditions for integration in February 2012. This set out our approach to creating integrated communities, which is achieved in part through promoting social mobility and equality of opportunity.

Social mobility

In April 2011, the government published its social mobility strategy.

In May 2012, we published an update on the social mobility strategy (PDF 710KB).

Equality

In December 2010, the government published its equality strategy.

On 22 May 2012, we published a progress report on the equality strategy. This describes how the new approach to equality is beginning to make a difference.

Who we’re working with

Creating the conditions for integration sets out our views on what is important to promote integrated communities, but does not represent the end of the process. We will continue to discuss our approach with partners and help them to take action in response to the issues raised in the document.

Bills and legislation

The Localism Act 2011 introduces new rights for communities to take greater control in their local areas.

The Equality Act 2010 bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.