criminal justice
housing & housing services
local government
voluntary sector

Improving Social Cohesion and Integration Across Local Communities

criminal justice

housing & housing services

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Thursday 24 January 2019

Central London


This Forum will provide an opportunity for participants to develop their understanding of the implications of the government’s Integrated Communities Strategy and how it can enhance social cohesion in local communities. It will also host the launch of the APPG on Social Integration’s Interim Report on the Intergenerational Connection. Attendees will engage with leading voices in the social integration debate and will examine innovative and effective best practice case studies across sectors that successfully access funding, work in partnership and demonstrate strong leadership to integrate communities and increase cohesion.


This Forum is specifically designed for wider public sector including Local Government, Charities and Police. Typical job titles include:

  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Community Safety Managers
  • Outreach Officers
  • Area Managers
  • Chief Inspectors
  • Heads of Community Support and Services
  • Prevent Coordinators and Officers
  • Safeguarding Leads
  • Service Managers
  • Team Managers
  • Children and Young Peoples Leads

This Forum is also open to Schools, Colleges and the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Professor Ted Cantle, Chair, Cohesion and Integration Network
  • Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive, Calderdale Council
  • Councillor Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council
  • Chuka Umunna MP, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration
  • Penny HobmanDeputy Director, Integration, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Professor Ted Cantle, Chair, Cohesion and Integration Network (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Government's Vision for Community Integration

  • Exploring how the key priorities of the Integrated Communities Strategy will be implemented such as how to show leadership, address labour market disadvantage and measure impact
  • Detailing the criteria for access to various funding streams including the £7million Integrated Innovation Fund and how to effectively deploy it by April 2020
  • Sharing the vision for the newly established Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN) and how to reap the benefits from the best practice that it shares
  • Understanding the rationale behind a place-based approach and the 5 piloted ‘integration areas’ and how the lessons learnt can be applied to specific communities

Penny HobmanDeputy Director, Integration, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CONFIRMED)


Understanding The Need for Local Government Leadership to Enable Social Cohesion

  • Highlighting the fundamental importance of local knowledge to foster a cohesive community
  • Understanding local government’s focal position as hub for responding, and building resilience, to integration challenges, alongside local partners
  • Discussing how to convert the Integrated Communities Strategy from central government policy into locally led measures on education, housing, skills and growth that result in measurable integration outcomes
  • Working across local authorities and with community organisations to pool resources and maximise regional impact

Senior Representative, Local Government Association (LGA) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Special Keynote: The APPG Perspective - Understanding the Value of Social Integration

  • Launching the APPG on Social Integration’s Interim Report on the Intergenerational Connection
  • Responding to cultural and demographic changes: Understanding what integration and social cohesion entails within the context of local communities
  • Highlighting the social, cultural and economic benefits of creating safe community spaces that promote social mixing for people of different backgrounds, communities and groups
  • Instilling community solidarity across dividing lines: Understanding how to highlight and make visible the positive contributions that different groups make towards community life
  • Drawing on the APPG on Social Integration findings from the ‘Ages Apart’ and ‘Integration not Demonisation’ reports to reinforce the case for social integration
  • Detailing the need for focus on and investment in English language learning programmes

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: The Impact of a Strategic Focus on Integration in Place : The Calderdale Story

  • Our Calderdale’s Vision 2024 : mobilising our community and the power of kindness
  • The impact of migration, challenging the status quo and preparing for leaving the EU
  • Successfully bidding for funding of £450,000 from the Controlling Migration Fund: Lessons from the process
  • Leadership through place; the role of faith communities through the Calderdale Interfaith Council in building social capital in crisis
  • The role of early intervention in neighbourhoods where there is a real or perceived view that migration is reducing opportunities for the settled communities

Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive, Calderdale Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: An Integration Pilot - Assessing the Impact of Mainstreaming Social Cohesion

  • Making the case for participating in the government’s ‘integration areas’ pilot
  • Establishing the parameters for Waltham Forest’s Integration and Cohesion Strategy: Creating a coherent sense of place whilst addressing service pressures
  • Identifying hard to reach members of the community including young people, Asian women and gypsies and travellers and using appropriate lines of communications to ensure their participation in community consultation
  • Launching innovative solutions to carefully identified local challenges that include: Dispelling myths about other communities, divisions based on deprivation and locality, and extremism and hate crime
  • Giving clear leadership and direction by drawing up an action plan that details key priorities, stakeholders, actions and intended outcomes
  • Understanding that cohesion requires work with all communities: Leading through comprehensive consultation with the community
  • Creating a positive environment in which different groups can come together and discuss their views and concerns

Damian Atkinson, Connecting Communities Programme Manager, London Borough of Waltham Forest (CONFIRMED)

Integration Area Pilot


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Interactive Panel Debate: Working Across Sectors - Assessing Different Perspectives for Driving Social Cohesion

  • How to promote integration and how to ensure that this translates into better social cohesion?
  • What roles should different sectors occupy to promote and enable social cohesion? In which area is there most scope for progress?
  • To what extent is it realistic to expect schools, law enforcement, local authorities, charities and the housing sector to work together and drive social cohesion?
  • What does a socially cohesive society look like? How can meaningful mixing and contact theory be implemented in practice?

Mark Burns-WIlliamson, Police and Crime Commissioner, West Yorkshire Constabulary (invited)
Alun Francis, Principal, Oldham College (CONFIRMED)
John Giesen, Chair, Tpas (CONFIRMED)
Phoebe Griffith, Associate Director for Migration, Integration and Communities, IPPR (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Developing and Tailoring A Social Integration Strategy To Local Needs

  • Delivering an overview of the Birmingham Community Cohesion Strategy: Mainstreaming community cohesion – making it part of everyday policy and practice design and delivery
  • Holding an annual citywide partnership wide Community Cohesion Summit and local dialogues to enable communities, council and city partners to understand and respond to the changing needs of our city and communities
  • Co-designing and co-producing local solutions that promote an asset based approach to local problem solving, such as improvements to open public spaces; friends of local parks groups; and community clean-ups
  • Creating safe spaces to generate community conversations on real community concerns and grievances – to help dispel misconceptions and myths
  • Designing research and evaluation that informs mainstream agency spend and delivery

Councillor Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, Birmingham City Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Engaging with Young People To Build Cohesion from the Ground Up

  • Establishing a community network of young professionals and older neighbours to build connections, bridge intergenerational gaps and support one another
  • Building connections through social clubs across the city and the friendship matching programme Love Your Neighbour
  • Demonstrating the mutual benefits of bringing people together to give younger people roots and older people connections to reduce the gaps across social, generational, digital, cultural and attitudinal divides
  • Improving the connection, confidence, skills, resilience and power of all participants so neighbours can feel part of a changing city rather than left behind by it
  • Reducing isolation and loneliness amongst older people and younger people alike

Iona Lawrence, The Cares Family (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Measuring the Impact of Social Integration Initiatives

  • Introducing the Breaking Boundaries £1.8 million 2018 – 2021 project
  • Bringing together young people, families and communities through regular engagement in cricket: Playing, spectating and volunteering
  • Bringing different ethnic and faith communities closer together into one cricket community and fostering mutual respect and friendships
  • Ensuring disabled and non-disabled young people, girls and boys, can participate in the project together, as equals with access to a social hub for young people and their families
  • Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework using ONS wellbeing measures to identify how impact is understood
  • Establishing a reporting system on project impact on subjective wellbeing, using the ONS wellbeing measures

Ruth Hollis, Director of Policy and Impact, Spirit 2012 (CONFIRMED) and Ali Oliver, Chief Executive, Youth Sports Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

Since voting to leave the EU, 62% of second generation British minorities believe that Britain has become less tolerant according to the Opinion Research Multicultural Britain in the 21st Century 2017 report. This comes at a time when hate crime has experienced a 29% spike and reflects the findings of Dame Louise Casey’s 2016 independent review into opportunity and integration which point to a worrying number of communities, divided along lines that include race, faith and socio-economic background.

In 2017, Dame Casey said the government had done ‘absolutely nothing’ about community cohesion. An IPPR report in 2018 found that from 2009-2017 funding for integration efforts had dropped by almost a third. The government has now, though, made a commitment to reversing these worrying trends.

In March 2018 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced its Integrated Communities Strategy and £50 million funding until 2020, focussing on the need for tailored local plans and interventions. A Cohesion and Integration Network (COIN) will be set up as a hub for sharing best practice which will be trialled through a localised approach in 5 ‘integration areas’ and will be driven by a £7 million Innovation Fund. This, alongside the Controlling Migration Fund and Building Connections Fund will provide local government, schools and community organisations with the means to achieve broader goals of supporting new migrants and resident communities, facilitating safe spaces for social mixing through education for young people, boosting English language skills and tackling residential segregation.

Local authorities, charities and schools must work together to tackle mistrust and division and deploy available funding in an effective manner. If they do so, then cohesive communities where people live, work, learn and socialise together, whatever their background, can form the bedrock of a culturally enriched, socially engaged and economically enhanced united Great Britain.

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