Steps to improve cohesion and integration in Calderdale are being set out in the Council’s Cohesive Communities Strategy 2018-2023.
One of Calderdale’s strengths is its diversity, with towns and villages across the borough home to sizeable minority ethnic communities as well as the Calder Valley being home to one of the largest lesbian and gay communities in the country. This diversity is becoming increasingly important in developing the cultural, social and economic vibrancy of the borough and improved cohesion and integration between different communities has wide reaching benefits.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will discuss an updated Cohesive Communities Strategy which has been drafted taking into account recent reports such as the Casey Review on integration and the findings of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration which have raised issues relevant to Calderdale.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Cllr Susan Press, said:
“Every decision made at the Council takes into account the impact it will have on the most vulnerable people in our communities and how we can address inequalities in our borough.
“The Cohesive Communities Strategy is a whole Council approach that looks to address some of the very real issues that people face about inequalities and sets out how we can work with our partners to strengthen community cohesion in Calderdale.”
In order to develop and sustain effective cohesion within Calderdale, the Council has worked with key local organisations and the wider community on a number of specific projects designed to bring communities together and promote understanding. These include:
- Events such as Holocaust Memorial Day, Refugee Week, Interfaith Week, International Women’s Day and the Jo Cox Great Get Together
- A Prevent Plan and early intervention to minimise the risk of extremism
- Engaging with faith communities through Calderdale Interfaith Council to raise awareness of different faith traditions and cultures
- Stronger engagement with LGBT communities through different forums and networks.
To build on this work and continue to address inequalities Calderdale Council’s Cohesive Communities Strategy sets out a number of key priorities to develop integrated and cohesive communities in Calderdale.
The priorities would be delivered through an action plan, which, if approved by Cabinet, would be developed alongside the Council’s Inclusive Growth and Poverty Action Plan, all of which seek to reduce inequalities and help Calderdale achieve its ambition to be the best borough in the North.
The item will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 19 March, at Halifax Town Hall starting at 6pm.