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Community Relations

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress the Equality and Human Rights Commission has made in convening forums with employers’ networks, the CBI and the TUC to formulate action plans on cohesion. (245545)

I understand that the Commission will be developing further links with the private sector and the trade unions as part of its broader stakeholder engagement work in support of its Strategic Plan in 2009. This will include work on promoting good relations and community cohesion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance has her Department has provided on whether reports produced by local authorities under their new tension monitoring duties will qualify for an exemption from the provisions of (a) the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and (b) the Data Protection Act 1998. (251810)

Guidance for Local Authorities on Community Cohesion Contingency Planning and Tension Monitoring published on 6 May 2008, sets a framework which local authorities can use to monitor local issues that may lead to local community tensions, and does not provide advice on whether reports produced by local authorities are exempt from FOI Act or the Data Protection Act. Tension monitoring for local authorities is not mandatory, and all contributors to the tension monitoring process are required to adhere to the principles of data collection set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Each organisation that makes a contribution to tension monitoring should have local information sharing protocols in place.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on tension monitoring and the activities of political parties. (251811)

Guidance for Local Authorities on Community Cohesion Contingency Planning and Tension Monitoring published on 6 May 2008, sets a framework which local authorities can use to monitor local issues that may lead to local community tensions and to put plans into operation if a problem is identified. It is up to each local authority to determine the scope of their tension monitoring and contingency planning.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether Ministers in her Department plan to organise seminars on issues identified in the National Community Forum's report on Sources of resentment and perceptions of ethnic minorities among poor white people in England. (251901)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what expenditure her Department incurred on the (a) research for and (b) production of the National Community Forum report, Sources of resentment and perceptions of ethnic minorities among poor white people in England. (251972)

The National Community Forum is funded by Communities and Local Government and has advised that the cost of this research was £10,500.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 46W, on local authorities: community relations, what guidance her Department has published on tension monitoring in relation to the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. (252485)

‘Guidance for Local Authorities on Community Cohesion Contingency Planning and Tension Monitoring’, published on 6 May 2008, sets a framework which local authorities can use to monitor local issues that may lead to local community tensions. We are not aware of any local authorities using the powers available under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to conduct their tension monitoring. This Act is therefore not covered in our guidance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 46W, on local authorities: community relations, what further guidance her Department has provided to local authorities on tension monitoring. (252487)