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Community Relations

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government has taken to improve community relations between diverse populations. (257705)

In 2007 we announced a renewed commitment to community cohesion with a £50 million investment over three years and a new public service agreement to build cohesive, active and empowered communities. We continue to support local authorities in delivering improvements in cohesion by providing a framework of guidance and targeted local support.

In addition in July 2008 we published the Inter Faith framework which aims to facilitate inter faith dialogue, thus building understanding and celebrating the values held in common by the different faith communities, such as integrity in public life, care, compassion and respect. The framework, which is supported by a funding commitment of over £7.5 million, is also intended to increase the level of collaborative social action involving different faith communities and wider civil society, so that people work together to bring about positive and concrete change within their local communities. Finally, it aims to maintain and further develop good relations between faith communities and wider civil society.

This work will also make a positive contribution to work we are undertaking to deliver the Meaningful Interaction strand of PSA21 (Cohesive Engaged Empowered Communities) which aim to encourage meaningful interaction between people from different backgrounds.