Intercultural policies and intergroup relations. Case study: Kirklees, United Kingdom
Crawley, Heaven and Crimes, Tina
The study aims to feed into a shared learning process between cities participating in the network of Cities for Local Integration Policies for Migrants [CLIP] - a European network - by exploring the extent and nature of integration strategies and programs in Kirklees, UK.
Research was carried out by a research team at Swansea University. Kirklees Council initially completed a background [Common Report Scheme or CRS] document and the research team then organised a 4 day field visit, consisting of meetings, interviews, focus groups and presentations with city officials, academics, media representatives, non-governmental organisations [NGOs] and other community and faith organisations and welfare associations. Relevant reports and statistics were provided by organisations, all of which were used to corroborate and elaborate on the responses provided by the city council in the CRS document.
The report focuses on the nature and extent of community cohesion strategies and activities in Kirklees.
The report concludes that Kirklees Council has demonstrated significant commitment to community cohesion through a number of strategies and activities to promote inter-faith and intercultural dialogue. However, communities have highlighted that there is lack of grassroots initiatives to address these issues, as well as a lack of funding to develop and sustain projects of this kind. Barriers between Muslim and other communities are still prevalent and these are perpetuated by the negative representation of Islam in the media and mistrust amongst the general public. Minority communities are also concerned by the lack of engagement from the Police and Local Health Boards and highlight that staff often lack cultural awareness.
The report highlights that there is a need for better coordination between agencies and council departments across the city in order to facilitate a more coherent approach to community cohesion. Furthermore the council needs to confront and tackle negative perceptions of Islam in the media, as well as provide more funding for grass-roots initiatives aimed at promoting intercultural dialogue on a day to day level.
Web link to the research Intercultural policies and intergroup relations. Case study: Kirklees, United Kingdom [link to external website]
Kirklees Refugee Forum event. The rights of women seeking asylum: a charter. Women's discussion group.
Kirklees Refugee Forum
This is a report of an event to gain a snapshot of the issues affecting women in Kirklees with a focus on financial support and accommodation.
17 women attended the informal event including women seeking asylum, those refused, those who had been granted refugee status and support workers.
Main issues that arose on the day were: shared accommodation for mother and babies; Section 4 vouchers causing embarrassment and restricting choice and financial creativity; access to education and lack of childcare, and women with no recourse to public funds and domestic violence.
The report identifies solutions aimed at central and local government and a range of agencies that relate to Section 4 vouchers, funding for college courses, crèche provision, separate accommodation for families, and location of Section 4 housing.
Kirklees Refugee Forum, Kirklees