By Anisah Arif

A number of events will take place this week across the Bradford district on the Stronger Communities Strategy.

The community feedback events will share the district’s stronger community strategy and be discussing the importance of community cohesion.

During the summer, consultation was carried out with the district’s residents through three day long events in Bradford, Shipley and Keighley to inform the Stronger Communities Strategy for the Bradford District.

More than 600 people took part in the consultations.

The events this month will share what was learnt from the consultations in August and what is planned to be delivered within the strategy.  We will also be consulting communities on our community values at these events, our community values include how we become good neighbours, welcome others positively regardless of background, be open and willing to listen . These will shape the behaviours we as local people want to see in ourselves and in every Bradfordian.

The events are:

  • Tuesday, 15 January at Grange Interlink, Bradford at from 9.30am until 12pm. If you would like to book for this event please contact stronger.communities@bradford.gov.uk
  • Wednesday, 16 January at Shipley Library from 9.30am until 12pm.  If you would like to book for this event please contact stronger.communities@bradford.gov.uk
  • A major conference is being held in Keighley to discuss integration on the Friday 18 January at Keighley College from 9.30am- 1pm.

The Keighley event, which is invite only, will bring together representatives of different communities within the town who will examine the response from the Keighley consultation and identify new ways in which people can be encouraged to mix.

Spearheading the conference is Keighley MP John Grogan, in partnership with the town council, Bradford Council and Keighley College. There will be several speakers at the conference, including Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox and chairman of More in Common; Bishop of Bradford, the Right Rev Toby Howarth; Imam Sabri, of Keighley Central Mosque; Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe; Mr Grogan and Samayya Afzal, from the Muslim Council of Britain.

Following the consultation the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan was created. The plan will set out the vision and on-going work in the district and how  integration can help make Bradford a stronger, happier, healthier and more prosperous place, while leaving space for diversity and difference.

It is intended that the strategy will increase opportunities for people from different backgrounds to mix together, increase their mutual understanding and respect for each other, reduce misunderstanding and remove barriers that prevent people taking full advantage of opportunities that should be available to everyone living in Britain.

The plan focuses on activity over the next two years and looks at addressing barriers to integration and ensuring people from all groups have the same chances in life.  Poor communities and those with generations of unemployment as well as those most vulnerable to discrimination and marginalisation will all be involved.

Bishop of Bradford the Rt Reverend Toby Howarth said:  “One of the great strengths of our ambitious Stronger Communities strategy is that was born out of lots of conversations with people and groups across the Bradford District. There are, of course, serious challenges, but we also found lots of energy to engage and creative ideas. We are pleased to have been awarded this central government funding, and look forward now to engaging many more people in the delivery. Please come along to our events this month to learn more of our plans and discover where you fit in.”