Select Committee on Communities and Local Government Committee Written Evidence

Memorandum by the Department for Communities and Local Government


  1.  This Memorandum is a response from Communities and Local Government to the Select Committee's call for evidence as part of its inquiry into Cohesion and Migration. It has been collated with assistance from the Home Office, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Department of Health and the Office for National Statistics. This evidence should be read alongside the Department's full response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion's report Our Shared Future. The response was published on 4 February 2008 and a copy has been made available to the Committee.

  2.  The Memorandum follows the terms of reference set out by the Committee, namely:

    (a)  the effect of recent inward migration on community cohesion, and public concerns about this effect;

    (b)  the role, responsibilities and actions of different bodies in community cohesion and migration;

    (c)  the effectiveness of local and central government action and expenditure in promoting community cohesion and responding to inward migration flows, with particular regard to:

    —  areas that have experienced rapid increases in new inward migration;

    —  areas that have a lack of experience of diversity;

    —  areas where new migrant communities mix with existing settled migrant communities;

    (d)  the role of the English language as a tool in promoting the integration of migrants;

    (e)  the impact of recent migration on local communities, including the impact on housing, education, health care, and other public services; and

    (f)  actions to take forward the Commission on Integration and Cohesion's recommendations relating to migration.

  The Memorandum also includes additional information requested on the allocation of Government funding to support cohesion at the local level.

  3.  It is worth, however, beginning by setting out some basic facts and figures. At the national level, cohesion is measured through the Citizenship Survey by asking people "to what extent do you agree or disagree that this local area (within 15-20 minutes walk) is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together?" In the 2003 and 2005 Surveys, 80% of people in England and Wales agreed that their local area was cohesive. The most recent findings for the Survey (April to September 2007) show that 82% of people agreed. In 2006, the question was also included in the Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPI) Survey for England. This enables us to measure cohesion at (lower tier) local authority level as well as at the national level. The BVPI Survey found that cohesion rates in authorities ranged from 38% to 90%—but in only 10 out of 387 areas was it under 60%. Cohesion indicators have been carried through to the new Places Survey to allow us to continue this local analysis.

  4.  On migration, the latest ONS estimates show that in 2006 591,000 people arrived to live in the UK for at least a year. At the same time, an estimated 400,000 people left the UK to live abroad—up from 359,000 in 2005. For this reason, net migration—the difference between immigration and emigration—fell from 244,000 in 2004 to 191,000 in 2006. The increase in emigration since 2004 has exceeded the rise in immigration. Of all immigrants in 2006, 510,000 (86%) were non-British while just under half of those emigrating were non-British (194,000). As a result, net migration to the UK among non-British citizens was 316,000 in 2006. Among British citizens, emigration from the UK exceeded immigration by 126,000.


  5.  MORI polling conducted in January 2007 to support the work of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion found that 18% of people surveyed identified migration as the main issue facing Britain.[8] 68% of people agreed with the statement that there were too many migrants in Britain, and 47% of the Asian and 45% of the Black respondents felt that there was too much migration into Britain. More than half (56%) of all respondents felt that some groups get unfair priority when it comes to public services like housing, health services and schools—although this figure falls to 26% when asked specifically about the situation in their local area.

  6.  Despite this headline data, there is not a straightforward relationship between inward migration and community cohesion. The level of cohesion in any particular area is based on the complex interaction of a number of factors—and the combination of these factors will be specific to local circumstances. Research for the Commission on Integration and Cohesion by DTZ Consulting identified the main negative factors as deprivation; crime and anti social behaviour; "urbanness"; recent migration into an area; past industrial decline and lack of community facilities. The table on the next page shows the DTZ analysis, setting out "family groups" with the lowest average cohesion to the highest:
Type (changing means high levels of new migrants; stable means low levels of new migrants) Average perception of cohesion Number of areas
1.  Changing less affluent rural areas 72.227
2.  Stable less affluent urban areas with manufacturing decline 73.320
3.  Stable less affluent urban areas without manufacturing decline 74.129
4.  Changing less affluent urban areas 76.332
5.  Stable deprived rural areas79.9 49
6.  Stable affluent urban areas80.5 35
7.  Changing but affluent urban areas 80.647
8.  Stable affluent rural areas82.9 65
9.  Changing but affluent rural areas 83.036
Total78.9 353

  7.  The Commission suggested that attention should concentrate on the first four of these groupings (plus an additional category of single issue areas with poor cohesion). This analysis illustrates some of the complexity of the drivers of poor cohesion. Areas facing the greatest potential challenges to cohesion are likely to be rural and deprived locations experiencing migration for the first time. It also recognised that in some places past migration had not fully bedded down—usually in areas which have since suffered deprivation. Equally there were areas where there was low diversity and cohesion was poor, again primarily because of deprivation. Deprivation promotes competition for limited public resources and creates divides where people perceive someone from a different group is getting special treatment. Affluent areas experiencing migration usually have higher than average cohesion. The relationship between migration and cohesion is not therefore simply a question of the number of new migrants. It also helps to explain why our collective focus needs to be not just on new migrants but on existing residents too—and how well each of these groups adjusts to each other.


Central Government

  8.  At the heart of the Government's approach to cohesion is the belief that cohesion must be understood and built locally. Much of the responsibility for delivering sustainable and cohesive communities therefore lies with local authorities and the local partnerships which they lead. Central Government's role is to set the national framework within which local authorities and their partners operate. That framework involves:

    —  Recognising that a "one size fits all" approach is not appropriate.

    —  Mainstreaming cohesion into wider policy areas.

    —  Establishing a national framework for local support and guidance.

    —  Facilitating the integration of new migrants and existing communities, starting with new guidance for local authorities in developing information packs for migrants.

    —  Helping to build positive relationships between different groups and communities.

    —  Providing a stronger focus on what actually works in practice.

  9.  Communities and Local Government has the lead Departmental responsibility for cohesion, although the breadth of engagement with the local level on such issues necessarily involves a range of partners from across Whitehall—covering for example education, employment, crime and disorder, citizenship, health and social security. The Communities Department also provides a focus for Government's relationship with local authorities, who are central to delivery of improved cohesion at the local level, and for new approaches to community engagement and empowerment. Over the CSR07 period, the Department will work with local authorities on how they should use the new Local Area Agreement arrangements and local government performance framework to support their work to improve cohesion.

  10.  On migration issues, the Home Office has lead responsibility for work on immigration, secure borders and asylum seekers. Alongside this responsibility, however, Communities and Local Government has an important role, reflecting its own responsibilities for local government and for cohesion, in co-ordinating work across Government to support local authorities and communities in identifying and managing the consequences of migration at the local level, both for cohesion and the provision of services. The Department has established a new Migration directorate to take this work forward. It is currently working on an action plan to draw together different strands of work across government and ensure a co-ordinated approach to the impacts of migration on communities. Details of the key current cross-government migration structures are set out at Annex A.

Regional Government

  11.  Regional Government Offices have a key role to play in delivering cohesion in local areas, including in their role as lead negotiator for LAAs. This includes:

    —  helping to drive local authority performance through LAAs;

    —  sharing best practice at the sub-national level;

    —  collating information on community tensions;

    —  informing national policy on community cohesion; and

    —  working with the Regional Cultural Consortiums to maximise delivery of cultural and sporting opportunities.

  GOs have also advised and assisted in the selection of a lead body in each region for a cross-sector National Empowerment Partnership supported by CLG, which in turn will support local empowerment champions from within local authorities and their LAA partners, including the third sector.

Local Government

  12.  Each city, town and neighbourhood is different. Local authorities, as leaders of their communities, are best placed to understand the particular challenges and opportunities their communities face. It is only at a local level that the underlying drivers of tensions between different groups can be understood, and where sustainable solutions, with active participation from individuals, community groups and partner organisations, can be found to meet the aspirations of people living in those areas. Building cohesive communities should be at the heart of what confident local government does. Local leadership, therefore, is vital. Not least because only local authorities have the democratic mandate to offer and develop a shared vision, through the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) Sustainable Community Strategy, LAA, or other thematic plans for the area.

  13.  The Local Government White Paper 2006 committed central government to working with local government to spread good practice on how partners can build cohesion in their communities. It set out eight guiding principles for success in building cohesion locally: strong local leadership and engagement; developing shared values; preventing the problems of tomorrow; good information based on the mapping of local communities; visible work to tackle inequalities; involving young people; interfaith dialogue and social action; and working with partners, such as local third sector organisations. This chimes with research undertaken for the Commission on Integration and Cohesion which found that no single activity on its own is likely to improve cohesion by more than a very small percentage. Real improvement is gained through a range of approaches.

  14.   Community Cohesion—An Action Guide: Guidance for Local Authorities, issued by the LGA in 2004, provides practical advice to authorities about how to build community cohesion. Much of the guide echoes the importance of user engagement, for example, it encourages the development of an effective vision with local people and partnerships. The accompanying Leading Cohesive Communities—A Guide for Local Authority Leaders and Chief Executives, issued by the LGA and IDeA, also reinforces the importance of user engagement. For example, in terms of delivery, it underlines the importance of active partnerships bringing people with particular roles in the community together, such as faith leaders, chairs of sports clubs or local GPs, as well as with political leaders and other community representatives. Moving beyond this guidance, the Department has undertaken to produce a Cohesion Delivery Framework for local areas bringing together the best of existing and new analysis, guidance and best practice—for summer 2008.


  15.  Central government activity over the CSR07 period will be shaped by two cross-cutting PSAs—PSA 3 on migration on which the Home Office is the lead Department and PSA 21 covering cohesive, empowered and active communities on which Communities and Local Government is the lead; Annex B sets out an initial indication of how we shall evaluate the effectiveness of activity under PSA 21. The Department will be publishing performance information against the cross-government SR04 PSA on cohesion and race equality (PSA 10) as part of the annual reporting cycle. But as context, and notwithstanding the need for national and local action to tackle new and complex challenges to cohesion, it is worth remembering the headline data from the Citizenship Survey and BVPI results—covered at the beginning of this submission—that the overwhelming majority of people get on well together.

  16.  Following the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement, Communities and Local Government is substantially increasing its investment in direct support of cohesion activities: our cohesion budget will amount to £50million over that period. The majority of this funding will be allocated to councils through Area Based Grant. This will help local areas to promote community cohesion and integration as core business. Those receiving funding under this programme include a range of areas experiencing high levels of inward migration. More detailed information on central government expenditure (past and planned) is at Annex B.

  17.  The additional stability offered by three year settlements for local authorities is also relevant to councils' ability to develop and implement local strategies for sustainable and cohesive communities. While migration may cause some transitional pressure on local authorities, councils have always had a responsibility to plan and budget for contingencies. Government has given significant additional resources to support councils—an average 1.5% real terms increase per year over the next three, delivering an increase of more than £2.7 billion in the first year alone.

  18.  At the local level, councils are best placed to take the lead in promoting cohesion and managing migration—both through their own direct functions and in partnership with other public sector bodies, voluntary organisation and businesses in their local area. Each local area will experience different challenges and opportunities, and councils and their local partners will know best how to respond. This role will be strengthened as part of the Local Area Agreement process, with inclusion of specific cohesion-related indicators in the national indicator set. It is too early to say how many local authorities will wish to include these indicators in their LAAs (although performance will be assessed against all indicators in all areas whether they are in the LAA or not). In terms of measuring performance at a local level, as mentioned above, there are two cohesion indicators in the new single set of (198) national indicators for local authorities: the percentage of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area and the percentage of people who feel that they belong to their neighbourhood.

  19.  The Committee asked specifically for indications of the effectiveness of activity in three types of area: those that have experienced rapid increases in new inward migration; areas that have a lack of experience of diversity; and those where new migrant communities mix with existing settled migrant communities. Annex C sets out some examples of effective performance in these types of area. It should, however, be noted that work on issues connected to migration is but one aspect of what local authorities should, and will, be doing to build cohesion.


  20.  Speaking English is vital to integrating into British society. Language skills help people get on in the workplace and make a contribution to their local community. In its consultations, the Commission on Integration and Cohesion heard from a range of people including local communities, researchers and practitioners that lack of English was a critical barrier to cohesion. The Commission was conscious that lack of language skills in settled communities can create social distance, hamper people's efforts to integrate economically and prevent them from developing a sense of belonging. MORI polling has 60% of respondents identifying language as the main ingredient of "being English".

  21.  The Commission concluded that "English is both an important part of our shared heritage, and a key access factor for new communities to the labour market and wider society ... it binds us together as a single group in a way that a multiplicity of languages cannot". It highlighted in its recommendations the role of employers in dealing with the integration and cohesion issues arising from the growing number of migrant workers they employ.

  22.  The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has lead responsibility in government for the funding and management of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision. ESOL policy has been a success—2 million people have been helped to improve their English language skills and take vital steps towards employment and social inclusion. Between 2001 and 2004 ESOL spending tripled, and is now just under £300 million.

  23.  Developments which it is worth the Committee noting include:

    (a)  In October 2007 DIUS launched a new suite of ESOL for work qualifications. These are shorter and more work-focused than traditional ESOL qualifications, giving learners practical English skills in essential workplace matters, such as health & safety and customer service. They are aimed at people who have come to the country for work and who need skills to function in work, as well as those seeking work at the end of often short periods of employment. The cost of the new ESOL for work courses will continue to be funded by Government but a contribution of approximately £330 will be required from employers who directly benefit from the provision. DIUS are engaging with employers to promote this qualification.

    (b)  On 4 January DIUS published the consultation document "Focusing English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) on Community Cohesion", which sets out our aim that ESOL funding should be more specifically targeted to foster community cohesion and integration in our communities. As with work to build cohesion and promote integration more generally, we believe local authorities and their partners are best placed to determine how ESOL funding allocations are best aligned against community need and national priorities; and are considered as part of wider local planning arrangements such as Local Area Agreements. The consultation period will run for twelve weeks and DIUS will be publishing a next steps document outlining the findings from the consultation and policy proposals in summer 2008.

    (c)  The consultation follows two joint CLG/DIUS citizens' juries on ESOL in December 2007. These juries in London and Hull provided useful input from the general public and the findings will influence our thinking when considering the outcomes of this consultation.


  24.  Recent macroeconomic studies conclude that the increase in the number of migrants into the UK at a national level has brought benefits to the economy. The Treasury estimate that new migration added about £6 billion to economic growth in 2006—around one sixth of the total growth in the economy in that year. The cross-departmental submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs provides more details of the impact of immigration on public finances.[9] In national and local surveys, employers are very positive about the economic contribution of migrants. It is not just the private sector that has benefited from migrant workers. Many work in the public services sector meeting demands for both skilled and unskilled workers. Most migrants are self sufficient, privately housed and contribute to the local economy. Studies show that they draw less on public services than existing residents, mainly due to the younger demographic profile of migrants.

  25.  In some areas, however, rapid migration has presented challenges to local authorities and local service providers. Areas with limited experience of diversity and change may have had limited arrangements for providing migrants with support both in the short term and in the longer term to help them fully integrate into communities. In particular, migrants from the A8 have settled parts of the country which have not previously experienced large scale migration or diversity and this raises issues of integration with existing communities. Some types of migrants like unaccompanied minors can create real, short-term pressures on public services.

  26.  The Government recognises that some local authorities are experiencing more challenges than others and that central government needs to work with and support those authorities in addressing those issues. Local Authorities have an important leadership role in managing the local impacts of migration and in supporting greater integration of new migrants into existing communities. Central government and other agencies can support local authorities in fulfilling this role. As an example, Communities and Local Government has commissioned the IDeA to lead a programme for local authorities experiencing migration from East European countries. The Department has worked with IDeA and the Institute of Community Cohesion to identify good practice in managing migration from A8 and A2 countries, and has published a toolkit with the IDeA that provides good practice guidance on these issues. Alongside this, 20 local authorities will be provided with formal peer mentoring support provided by more experienced local authorities.

  27.  To provide support effectively, central government recognises that it needs to enhance its understanding of local populations. Migrants arrive in different areas for different reasons, for example, some for seasonal work, others to be with family members. Some migrants settle permanently in an area and some move on very quickly. The Inter-departmental Task Force on Migration Statistics which reported in December 2006 recognised these challenges and made a number of recommendations for improvements in population and migration statistics between 2008 and 2012. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is responsible for population statistics, has also made a number of improvements to the methods used to estimate international migration in 2007. These fed into the projections used in the recent three year local government finance settlement. This used the best and latest data available on a consistent basis across all local authorities at the time. ONS is also undertaking further work to improve population and migration statistics based on the recommendations of the Task Force. An inter-departmental group of high level officials and senior officers from local government will oversee this work programme. A Ministerial group, chaired by John Healey and Liam Byrne, will be established to support this group.


  28.  Foreign nationals living in England are significantly more likely to own or privately rent their home than live in social housing (there are about 570,000 owner occupiers and 600,000 private renters compared to 310,000 social renters). Only a small proportion of social housing is allocated to foreign nationals. Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are not eligible for social housing unless they are:

    —  an asylum seeker granted refugee status, or an asylum seeker or other vulnerable person granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave; and

    —  a person granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.

  People from countries within the EEA may be eligible to apply for social housing in some circumstances, for example if they are working. However, EEA nationals' rights to live in the UK are based on an expectation that they should be economically active or self-sufficient and not place a burden on UK social assistance.

  29.  In 2004, the Government strengthened the regulations in respect of EEA nationals' access to social housing to coincide with accession to the European Union of 10 new member states, including the eight Eastern European countries (A8s). Broadly speaking, these changes mean that EEA nationals who are not economically active or self sufficient (ie not reliant on state benefits) will not be eligible for social housing. British nationals who live and work in another EEA country will have the same rights to social assistance there as the nationals of that country.

  30.  In order to qualify for social housing, foreign nationals must not only be eligible but must also have sufficient priority under the local authority's allocation scheme. Their priority is considered on the same basis as all other applicants. Local authorities must publish a local allocations scheme which reflects the statutory allocations framework and equalities legislation. Social housing is allocated on the basis of need. Local authorities can decide to take waiting time into account and to give lower priority to people who do not have a local connection. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has commissioned a review of the fairness of the allocation of social housing. Trevor Phillips has already said that he believes there is "no reliable evidence" to back up claims that councils are unfairly allocating housing but we agree that it is also important to deal with perception and welcome the EHRC review.

  31.  Around 90% of people who arrived in the UK in the last two years and currently living in England are in the private rented sector. The Government is keen to promote a strong and well-managed private rented sector that contributes to the vitality of the housing market. Our strategy is to improve provision by licensing those sub-sectors where the worst conditions are found (eg HMOs) and tackling the worst abuses in the system (eg unreasonable retention of tenancy deposits) whilst also assisting those who operate in the sector to improve standards through agreement and co-operation.

  32.  On 12 December CLG announced an independent policy review of the private rented sector. The review will be broad ranging and will cover a variety of sub sectors within the private rented sector including issues that are faced by both tenants and landlords. In addition it will look at the delivery of good quality homes in the sector and will examine the impact of demographic and social change on the future demand and supply within the sector. The review will be conducted by Julie Rugg of the Centre for Housing Policy, University of York and will report in October 2008.


  33.  Migrants are important in delivering many public services including those in the education sector. There are also benefits from attracting overseas students to the UK. Overseas students provide a valuable source of income for UK institutions, and after studying in the UK many will remain here to work. It has been estimated that education and training exports are worth nearly £28 billion per annum to the UK (£8.5 billion of which is generated by students who enter the UK to study).[10]

  34.  As far as the children of migrants are concerned, many newly arrived in the UK may speak little or no English. Government policy is to encourage rapid English language acquisition as this is key to successful integration into the UK education system and the wider community. In England, the government provides funding to schools for newly arrived children to the UK and those for whom English is an additional language (EAL) through two main routes. The first is an element within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The second is a substantial provision for EAL through the ring fenced Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG), which has risen from £162 million in 2004-05, to £179 million in 2007-08 and will continue to rise to £207 million by 2010-11.

  35.  The three year financial settlement for local authorities in England for 2008-09 to 2010-11 will enable schools and their partners to plan further ahead, to take better long term decisions, to use their budgets more efficiently and strategically over a three year period. For authorities experiencing rapid growth in pupil numbers, or a significant influx of children with English as an Additional Language, there will be an exceptional circumstances grant, paid out every autumn to reflect changes in Local Authorities' pupil numbers which occur after the three year indicative allocations for Dedicated Schools Grant have been announced.

  36.  The Government is aware that some local authorities and schools need additional support with strategies for offering excellent provision for children learning English as an additional language (EAL). The New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP), launched in July 2007 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is an initiative which the Primary and Secondary National Strategies are taking forward to build capacity in local authorities and schools to welcome pupils to school and offer the most effective provision for learning EAL. This will ensure they can access the curriculum as quickly as possible. NAEP offers advice, guidance and training as well as a comprehensive list of websites and resources for local authorities and schools.

  37.  As discussed in the Children's Plan,[11] Schools are well placed to become a focal point for the local community and to foster better relationships between diverse communities. The introduction, in September 2007, of the duty on schools to promote community cohesion recognises the good work that many schools are already doing to encourage community cohesion and aims to achieve a situation where children:

    (a)  understand others, value diversity, apply and defend human rights and are skilled in participation and responsible action;

    (b)  fulfil their potential and succeed at the highest level possible, with no barriers to access and participation in learning and to wider activities, and no variation between outcomes for different groups; and

    (c)  have real and positive relationships with people from different backgrounds, and feel part of a community, at a local, national and international level.

  38.  The curriculum can play a key part in promoting community cohesion. Citizenship education, history, geography, religious education and personal, social and health education can all help young people develop a sense of identity. Links between different schools, whether on a local, national or international basis enable sharing of experience contributing significantly to schools meeting the new duty.


  39.  In the UK free NHS treatment is based on residence in the UK, not on nationality, the payment of UK taxes or National Insurance contributions. Migrants who are ordinarily resident here, that is living in the UK lawfully and for a settled purpose or who are long-term visitors (eg workers, students) are eligible for free NHS treatment.

  40.  When planning services for their local populations, including migrants, Primary Care Trusts in England, and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, along with their partner organisations, should demonstrate that they have taken account of different needs and inequalities within their local populations, in respect of area, socio-economic group, ethnicity, gender, disability, race, age, faith and sexual orientation. This should be on the basis of a systematic programme of health equity audit and equality impact assessment. Decisions as to what healthcare an individual should receive is then a matter of clinical judgement in each individual case. It is difficult to generalise about the impact of migrants on health services. The demand that migration places on health services varies from area to area and depends on the type of migrant, their needs and eligibility for treatment.

  41.  Migrants make a major contribution to the workforce in the health and social care sectors. In 2005-06, migrants made up 13.3% of the workforce in the social care and 17.8% of the health care sectors. Migrant care workers in the UK labour markets, presentation to the workshop on human resources for health and migration, May 2007, Sussex. The number of migrants coming to work in the health and social care sectors has increased since 1997. This has been linked to the Government's drive to increase the NHS workforce. The numbers are now falling as the Government's investment in education and training pays off and the NHS moves to a position of relative self-sufficiency.


  42.  The Commission on Integration and Cohesion (CIC), an independent fixed term body, published its report "Our Shared Future" in June 2007. The report included a new analysis of what influences integration and cohesion; a new definition of integration and cohesion and a new typology of local areas. In terms of recommendations with a specific migration "flavour" to them, it called for:

    —  large employers to recognise that they have a responsibility to deal with the integration and cohesion issues arising from the growing number of migrant workers they employ. In particular, they should offer English classes for new migrants (and should promote understanding of different cultures and groups by providing cultural training in the workplace);

    —  new guidance on translations removing a presumption in favour of translation;

    —  new guidance on single community funding;

    —  consideration of an expansion of citizenship ceremonies to include all young people, perhaps after passing a citizenship GCSE; and

    —  a national independent body to manage the integration of new migrants.

  43.  Hazel Blears offered an initial response to the Chair of the Commission, Darra Singh, in October 2007. This is attached at Annex D. Since then, Communities and Local Government has:

    —  published its Community Empowerment Action Plan in October 2007;

    —  launched guidance from the Citizenship Foundation on how to run effective Citizens' Days. The Citizens' Day Framework was published in November 2007;

    —  published guidelines on translation in local services; and

    —  jointly with DCSF, held two Citizens' Juries—in Hull and London—on English language.

  44.  On 4 February, the Department published the formal Government response to all 57 of the Commission's recommendations. The response sets out what has already been achieved and what further actions the Government will take over the coming months and years to support strong cohesive communities, backed by the £50 million spending commitment over the next three years and the practical focus of PSA21 on cohesive, empowered and active communities. Central government actions include a range of support to local authorities, to help them deliver improved and sustained cohesion at the community level, including:

    —  the establishment of specialist cohesion teams to provide advice and support to local authorities facing cohesion challenges—particularly those areas facing rapid change or experiencing migration for the first time;

    —  drawing on the Commission's work on the mapping of cohesion "family groups" to help councils experiencing similar issues share practical ideas and solutions;

    —  the issue of new guidance for local authorities on developing Information Packs for migrants. Misunderstandings and conflict can arise when people coming from abroad behave in a way that is out of step with the normal way of doing things or in extreme cases, against the law. Information packs can be an effective way of providing new arrivals with information that will help them to integrate successfully and understand what is expected of them;

    —  consultation on Cohesion Guidance for Funders—analysis of data from the Citizenship Survey shows that cohesion is strongest when people from different backgrounds interact with each other. The Commission highlighted that that where funding is used to support a single group only it can create barriers to cohesion. The new guidance encourages local authorities to consider how funding can better be used to support greater interaction and suggests that single groups should only be funded where there is a demonstrable case for doing so;

    —  publication of a cohesion impacts tool for local areas to use in assessing whether the activities they are planning will have a positive impact on cohesion in their neighbourhoods. This tool will enable local authorities to input information around the activities and events they are planning in order to test whether they are going to have a positive impact on cohesion; and

    —  production in summer 2008 of a Cohesion Delivery Framework for local areas bringing together the best of existing and new analysis, guidance and best practice.

Annex A


  A1.  The Cabinet Committee on Domestic Affairs (Borders and Migration) (DA(BM)) brings Ministers from across government together to consider progress on delivering the PSA target and to hold departments to resolve inter-departmental issues. The Borders and Immigration Agency chairs a Senior Official PSA Delivery Board, comprising all lead and supporting departments to monitor and review progress on delivery and report back to DA(BM).

  A2.  An important part of Government's approach to considering migration issues is to seek information and advice from other stakeholders to inform government thinking. This is why Communities and Local Government and the Home Office have established the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Migration Impacts Forum (MIF). The MAC is a non-statutory advisory non-Departmental Public Body which met for the first time in December 2007. It provides independent and evidence-based advice to Government on specific sectors and occupations in the labour market where shortages exist which can sensibly be filled by migration. The MAC comprises independent experts, academics and other specialists on the labour market and migration.

  A3.  The purpose of the MIF is to provide a forum for proper, regular and organised dialogue with interested parties outside Government, focussed on the wider impacts associated with migration experienced by local areas. Its terms of reference are to:

    —  Consider information from forum members about the social benefits of migration and any transitional impacts and/or adjustment requirements which derive from migration.

    —  Identify and share good practice in managing transitional or adjustment requirements.

    —  Bring together existing evidence about the impacts of migration.

    —  Suggest areas for Government research on the impacts of migration.

  The Forum meets quarterly and is chaired jointly by Ministers from the Home Office and Communities and Local Government. The forum's findings are shared with all relevant Government Departments.

  A4.  The Home Office has also established the Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Integration (ABNI) to advise and report on the processes of initial and final assessment of understanding of language and civic structures as required by the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002 for those seeking to become British citizens. This body advises on:

    —  the implementation and processes of initial and final assessment of understanding of language and of civic structures as required by the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002;

    —  ways in which language and citizenship education resources and support services both in the public and in the voluntary sectors might be developed and better co-ordinated;

    —  future development of the programme of studies and suggest changes in light of feedback from early participants; and

    —  aims to publish an annual report on the administration of the learning and teaching processes involved in naturalisation on the integration of immigrants and on immigration law and procedures and educational regulations that can directly affect assessment for naturalisation.

Annex B


1.   A breakdown of Government expenditure over the past few years on community cohesion

  B1.  Of the £7 million community cohesion and faiths programme budget for the 2007-08 financial year we have committed (or plan to commit) approximately:

    —  £380k towards support for local projects;

    —  £170k towards tackling hate crime and conflict resolution work;

    —  £85k towards monitoring community tensions;

    —  £75k towards citizens' day and citizens juries;

    —  £75k towards capacity building work;

    —  £380k towards faith and interfaith engagement work;

    —  £130k towards the costs of the independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion;

    —  £210k towards research—which has informed the work of the independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion;

    —  £75k towards work following on from the independent Commission on Integration and Cohesion's report;

    —  £500k towards the Holocaust Memorial Day; and

    —  £5 million towards the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund and its administration.

  B2.  Community cohesion and faiths programme expenditure in 2006-07; 2005-06; 2004-05 was approximately £9 million, £7 million and £2 million respectively.

2.   A breakdown of the committed or likely Government expenditure on community cohesion from the £50 million investment announced by the Secretary of State on 6 October 2007, including information on the local authority area for the expenditure, project types, and proportion allocated for work to integrate migrants

  B3.  As part of the Government's response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion's final report Our Shared Future a £50 million investment has been announced over the next three years to promote community cohesion and support local authorities in preventing and managing community tensions.

  The Local Authority Finance (England) consultation upon revenue support grants and related matters of 6 December illustrates how £34 million of the £50 million investment in community cohesion announced on the 6 October is intended to be committed. The table at the following link shows how it is proposed that the £34 million will contribute towards the Area Based Grants for individual authorities:

  B4.  Local councils will use the money to respond to their own particular challenges—some focussing on new migration, others looking more at how to promote interaction between people from different backgrounds. Activities might include—youth projects bringing people from different backgrounds together; involving young people in community activities through volunteering, mentoring or becoming neighbourhood wardens; school or places of worship twinning programmes, local pride in the community campaigns; conflict resolution; award ceremonies to celebrate local people and local achievements. However, as the new Area Based Grant is a non-ring fenced general grant it is not possible to specify proportions to be allocated for particular work such as to integrate migrants.

  B5.  A further £4.5 million of the £50 million is intended to be invested in providing positive activities for young people, given the underlying community cohesion objectives of this work. Under the National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy, we are also proposing to channel £3 million of the £50 million to local government led Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships to develop local capacity to tackle community cohesion challenges.

  B6.  Decisions about the future use of the remaining £8 million of the £50 million which relates to the Connecting Communities Plus grant programme which has community cohesion as one of its four themes and runs till the end of 2008-09 will be taken next year.

3.   Details of how the Government intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the £50 million investment on community cohesion

  B7.  This investment will support delivery of the cross-government PSA 21 on cohesive, empowered and active communities. This PSA will be supported by six indicators:

    1.  The percentage of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area.

    2.  The percentage of people who have meaningful interactions with people from different backgrounds.

    3.  The percentage of people who feel that they belong to their neighbourhood.

    4.  The percentage of people who feel they can influence decisions in their locality.

    5.  A thriving third sector.

    6.  The percentage of people who participate in culture or sport.

  B8.  Indicators 1-3 are directly related to cohesion (the PSA itself is broader in its focus, looking at how strong and vibrant communities need to be not just cohesive but ones where people are engaged, empowered and actively involved in the life of their communities). Communities and Local Government is the lead Department for this PSA, but its Delivery Agreement sets out the range of other government departments that have a role in contributing to its delivery: Office of the Third Sector; Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Home Office; Border and Immigration Agency; Ministry of Justice; Department for Children, Schools and Families; Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills; Department for Work and Pensions; and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

  B9.  Two of the cohesion indicators in the cohesive, empowered and active communities PSA flow through directly to the single set of (198) national indicators for local authorities and local authority partnerships:

    National Indicator 1: The percentage of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area.

    National indicator 2: The percentage of people who feel that they belong to their neighbourhood.

  The Government will not be setting a national target for these, but will expect to see an improvement in the majority of the local authorities who adopt the indicator as part of their Local Area Agreement (LAA). These indicators will also be measured on a national basis to ensure that improvements at the local level are not accompanied by an overall decline. The baseline year for the national element of these indicators will be 2007-08, and the local element of these indicators will be measured using the 2008 Places survey. Local authorities' performance against these indicators will also be assessed regardless of which indicators are agreed as designated priority improvement targets for the authorities' Local Area Agreements. This will aid in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the investment. Furthermore given the likelihood of uptake of the cohesion indicators in Local Area Agreements we believe that Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships will also wish to focus upon improving practice within areas that are underperforming on community cohesion.

  B10.  It will also be possible to identify local authority projects that demonstrate good practice in building community cohesion. In the 6 October announcement we gave the commitment to set up a cohesion web based "one-stop shop" so that any individual, group, or organisation who needs help, advice or support on how to develop their cohesion policies or respond to cohesion issues are able to access expert help and guidance. And we committed to make a new community cohesion impact test available as a tool to "cohesion proof" policies. Additionally there is some case study evidence from the evaluation of the Positive Activities for Young People programme that it furthers the underlying community cohesion objective of the programme.

Annex C


1.   Areas that have experienced rapid increases in new inward migration

  C1.   Boston in Lincolnshire is going through a period of rapid change. Recently, it has experienced a rising number of economic migrants moving into the Borough, particularly those from Portugal and Eastern European countries, who have secured work in the agricultural industry. In a short time, the number of languages spoken in the borough has risen to 65. The council and its partners realised that the initial information that is so crucial for newcomers to settle into the local community, was not readily available. Working with outside groups, the Council has helped to create a "Welcome to Boston" pack and CD for new arrivals.

  C2.  This is just one project underway in Boston to promote cohesion, which is high priority for the Council following a spate of negative national media stories about migrant workers in Boston in 2006. Since then, a suite of projects have been implemented over the past three years, following strategic work with the IDeA and others, that included a peer review of council services, Best Value Review of Community Cohesion, and leadership development for cohesion.

  C3.   Arun is a largely rural area in West Sussex, with some pockets of deprivation. It has recently experienced a wave of migrant workers, many with limited English which has created some barriers to integration into the local community. The Arun Cultural Ethnic Diversity (CED) Forum has played a key role in trying to fill this gap. As a multi-agency forum, the CED has championed community cohesion through its key partners which include Arun District Council, Sussex Police and Councils for Voluntary Service. In demonstrating its commitment to migrant workers, the CED has:

    —  Commissioned mapping research to identify changes in the locality and growth of migrant workers.

    —  Used both translation and visual images to overcome language barriers through multi-lingual newsletters.

    —  Created the Eastern European Advisory Group.

    —  Promoted a two-way interactive learning and communication process with the new settlers—eg the migrant workers learn English and the neighbourhood policing team includes languages as part of its professional development, so officers can communicate and build community trust.

    —  Produced a "myth-busting" leaflet addressing misconceptions about migrant workers to reduce tensions between settled and newly arrived groups.

    —  Produced a web based "welcome pack", that is available in main languages.

    —  Led a conference on A8 integration in the region.

2.   Areas that have a lack of experience of diversity

  C4.   Langport, a small town in Somerset, has recently attracted an increasing number of migrant workers. The Langport Area Development Trust, working in co-operation with other local bodies, has proactively taken steps to integrate migrant workers seeking employment into their community. With support from the local authority, and a grant from the Together We Can community development scheme, the Trust launched a series of initiatives with the purpose of welcoming and befriending newcomers and raising awareness to, and promoting the benefits of, diversity in the local area amongst the established local community. A programme of work was delivered to create awareness amongst the settled local community that migrant workers—mainly of Polish and Portuguese origin—were arriving to live and work in the local area, and why. It offered practical support to help the newcomers to overcome problems with their day-to-day integration and provide a key contact: the Trust employed a dedicated Link Worker to act as focal point for integration.

  C5.  The Responsible Employers Scheme (RES), supported by a wide-ranging group of partners in Cornwall, makes a sound and robust commitment to ensuring the rights of Migrant Workers are protected and promoted. A "kite mark" acknowledging good practice is awarded to employers, to reward commitment to equality opportunities, providing information to migrants on health and safety and access to service provision and promoting rights and responsibilities.

3.   Areas where new migrant communities mix with existing settled migrant communities

  C6.  All Saints High School in Dukinfield, Tameside, organised an Anglo-Polish summer school to support newly arrived Polish pupils at Key Stage Three. The scheme created a platform for integration between English pupils with the new arrivals. The presence of English pupils provided support for Polish pupils to develop their language skills and facilitated their access to school life. Activities focused on language development and communication and included elements of geography, history, traditional tales and drama.

  C7.   Pendle Council, along with other Local Authorities in East Lancashire, found that following the enlargement of the EU, it faced an influx of new residents predominantly from Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic, who posed new questions for the delivery of public services in the area. The issues new residents raised led to a co-ordinated response across East Lancashire involving the members of the sub-regional partnership East Lancs Together, the East Lancashire councils, the local PCTs, Police (Pennine Division), and local community networks, to develop a joint welcome policy and booklet for new migrant workers.

  C8.  The booklet aims to help new arrivals integrate into the East Lancashire area by informing them about key services. Whilst the booklet was being developed, Pendle Council produced leaflets on key services in appropriate languages, and worked with the Pennine Division Police to inform new migrants of laws, rights and responsibilities. Through effective partnership working, the creation, design and production of the booklet was jointly procured by the parties involved, reducing cost and potential replication of similar material. Published in a pocket-sized format, it is available in Polish, Lithuanian, and Czech from local authorities, libraries and employers in East Lancashire. In addition, an English version is to be made available for English speaking newcomers. Widespread distribution points reflect the mobility of migrant workers, who often have flexible contracts and move where the work is. The pack follows the acclaimed "Myths Over Pendle" myth busting cartoons that challenged untruths and stereotypes of different communities.

This was the highest rated issue; crime and disorder/ASB was identified by 15%; defence/foreign affairs/terrorism was identified by 10%. Back

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10   Johnes, G. (2004) The Global Value Of Education And Training Exports To The UK Economy, British Council Back

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