Westminster is one of the most diverse places in the world, with a rich array of residents and a thriving entertainment and cultural hub which attracts millions of visitors a week. To ensure Westminster continues to be a place where everyone feels they belong, and communities value one another, the council launched the Westminster Community Cohesion Commission.
The Commission, led by Councillor Aiken, Leader of the Council and includes three other members including Councillor Hug, Leader of the Opposition, Councillor McAllister, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Councillor Mohammed, Ward Member for Bryanston and Dorset Square.
Over the last year, the Commission has spoken with different representatives in the community to better the council’s understanding of cohesion in Westminster.
On the 29 November 2017, the Commission launched these findings to stakeholders at the Westminster Community Cohesion Summit.
The Commission has put forward three recommendations to build a stronger Westminster:
1) The council will do everything it can to make sure that people feel safe and have a stake in the city, including making sure that there are decent and affordable homes across all types of tenure, giving our residents the ability to put down roots and build neighbourhoods filled with community pride
2) Working with voluntary and community groups, the council should help to bring people together to celebrate their diversity and take pride in the city’s neighbourhoods, including organising meetings and events and doing more to ensure that harder to reach groups have easy access to information and services
3) The council should work with businesses, voluntary and community groups to develop an approach that enables businesses and other groups to easily connect with the community and jointly deliver activities to strengthen community cohesion. This should include making it easier for smaller organisations and community groups to bid for funds from the council and to participate in contracts
The Commission will be launching an online consultation in the coming months to find out how we can work together to put these recommendations into action.
Stay tuned for consultation details.
If you have any queries, email email@example.com.
There are many different definitions of community cohesion but the Commission has decided to use the following:
“By community cohesion, we mean working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community.”
Source: Local Government Association
The Commission will be led by Councillor Aiken, Cabinet Member for Public Protection with three other members including Councillor Hug, Leader of the Opposition, Councillor McAllister, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Councillor Mohammed, Ward Member for Bryanston and Dorset Square.
The Commission will conduct a local review of Westminster City Council’s and partners' policy and practice relating to community cohesion. This will include a review of approaches taken to address the risk of radicalisation. The Commission will also gather evidence to identify any local barriers to community cohesion. The Commission will then prepare recommendations to inform Westminster City Council’s work on how to improve community cohesion.
Residents are being invited to submit ideas on how to improve community cohesion, and what it means to them.
A report on the Commission’s findings and recommendations will be published in early 2017.
Alternatively, if you would like to share your thoughts, experiences or stories of community cohesion in Westminster, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.