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JOINING UP COMMUNITY COHESION AND REGENERATION

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Government-funded regeneration projects must serve to bring ...
Government-funded regeneration projects must serve to bring

communities together, Home Office minister Fiona Mactaggart said

today as she published new community cohesion advice.

Speaking at the 'Developing Better Community Cohesion' conference,

Ms Mactaggart launched joint Home Office/ODPM advice for local

authorities, government departments and government offices, regional

development agencies and other agencies on how to build community

cohesion principles into Area Based Initiatives - central government

initiatives that are targeted at specific geographical areas.

It highlights three key principles:

- Good communication - telling people what the scheme's objectives

are and how it will be implemented.

- Regular consultation - talking to local people regularly will lead

to greater local ownership of regeneration schemes.

- Flexibility - flexibility in the definition of geographical

boundaries for a scheme, and looking at how benefits can be

provided to direct and indirect participants, will avoid the

perception of discrimination.

Fiona Mactaggart said: 'When a central government initiative is

concentrated on a specific area, other local people who may not

benefit directly often have the perception that they are being

discriminated against. This was a feature identified by the

Cantle Report following the disturbances of 2001.

'It is the responsibility of national and local officials to

introduce and implement such programmes sensitively and in a way that

does not divide communities.

'Today's guidance is the toolkit to make that happen. It highlights

three key principles for building community cohesion into

regeneration schemes - good communication, regular consultation and

flexibility.

'Using local knowledge and involving local people from different

communities is the best way to ensure that regeneration schemes

create more cohesive communities.'

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