The review will be led by the council’s cross-party Community Cohesion Commission; launched tonight (Monday 13 June) at Porchester Hall, Bayswater.
At its simplest, community cohesion is about how the different groups that make up communities get on with each other.
According to the council’s annual resident survey, close to 90% of residents feel Westminster is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Westminster City Council, said, “Westminster is at the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world. In Westminster schools alone we have counted 180 different languages and dialects."
“We are incredibly proud of our diversity and consider it one of the city’s key strengths. But we know there are still important challenges we need to address to make sure Westminster remains a place where everyone feels they belong and are safe.”
The commission will seek to set out the practical steps needed to improve cohesion and reduce the risks of harm to Westminster’s communities, including how to address the possible root causes of radicalisation.
Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of the Opposition, Westminster City Council, said, “It is vital that the council digs deep into the social integration challenges right across our city.”
“I hope the commission will give us the opportunity to do this and review what Westminster is doing. Most importantly, we must reach out to the communities that are most difficult to access.”
The commission will spend the summer conducting a review of the council’s and its partners’ policy and practice relating to community cohesion, as well as speaking to harder to reach communities to gather any evidence of local barriers to cohesion.
A report on the commission’s findings and recommendations will be published in November 2016.