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Opportunity and Integration

Volume 618: debated on Monday 5 December 2016

Dame Louise Casey has today released her report on how to boost opportunity and integration in isolated communities. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House, and it is also available through my Department’s website.

Dame Louise was commissioned to carry out her review by the then Prime Minister in July 2015. The review conducted through a combination of written consultation, visits and engagement across the country with members of the public and statutory agencies, round tables with academics, faith leaders and analysis of research and data. I am most grateful to Dame Louise for the thoroughness of her review and the comprehensive report.

This country has long been home to many different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one British society. It is right that we celebrate the positive contribution that diverse groups make to British life, but we also need to recognise that more needs to be done to make sure nobody is excluded or left behind. To do that, we need to take a serious look at the evidence and must not shy away from the challenges we face. Dame Louise’s report is a crucial step in that process, and I will be studying her findings very closely.

The report considers population change, patterns of residential and school segregation, social interactions between different groups in society, public attitudes and values, social and economic exclusion, equality impacts of cultural and religious practices, hate and extremism, past approaches and the role of leadership. It concludes with a series of recommendations to Government for promoting integration that could be implemented as a new programme across Government.

I will carefully consider the findings in this review, in consultation with my Government colleagues and faith and community leaders, and will bring forward proposals in due course.