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Community Relations: Chelmsford

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to improve community cohesion in West Chelmsford constituency. (174983)

Both “Strong and Prosperous Communities” the Local Government White Paper and the Government’s initial response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion’s final report, “Our Shared Future”, recognise the need to respond to the community cohesion challenge faced by increasing change in local communities.

In the 2006 Best Value Survey West Chelmsford scored above the national average on the measure for cohesion (“the percentage of residents who agree that their local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together”). The Department for Communities and Local Government is not undertaking specific cohesion work with West Chelmsford.

However within the new performance framework for local authorities and local authority partnerships there are mechanisms to monitor progress against the new single set of national indicators which includes indicators of community cohesion, and the new local area agreements offer the opportunity to identify priority improvement targets.