Public Attitudes Towards Cohesion And Integration
15 June 2007
The Commission on Integration and Cohesion has launched its report. The report highlights a number of ways in which to foster a better sense of cohesion and integration in local communities. Research carried out on behalf of the Commission by Ipsos MORI shows:
- The importance of friendly neighbours and people are emphasised in building strong communities.
- Mixing with people from different backgrounds corresponds to more positive views on issues of diversity and while a third of people (32%) say they have daily contact with other ethnic groups at work, school or college there are some people who live in areas of high diversity who rarely come into contact with people from different backgrounds, suggesting that many local authorities may need to think of creative ways to encourage their communities to come together.
- The survey also reveals that other important ingredients for strong communities are a stable population and access to services such as schools and good employment opportunities. Speaking the same language is also mentioned as being important in bringing communities together. Indeed the most commonly identified barrier to being English is not being able to speak English, mentioned by 60% of people.
- Encouragingly, there are number of common values that people across all groups feel are important in Britain. Particularly, respect for the law is seen as important, followed by tolerance and politeness towards others. People also value freedom of speech and expression. Ethnic minorities are perhaps, not surprisingly, more likely to highlight respect for all faiths and equality of opportunity than other groups.