Communities Secretary Sets out Plans to Improve Integration
A greater emphasis on promoting British values and the English language forms part of a new action plan to help promote better integration.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said “we cannot ignore the fact that too many places across the country have divides”.
He added these prevent people making the most of the opportunities available.
The plan sets out a series of steps the Government will take in England, backed by £50 million in funding, to create “stronger, more confident and integrated communities”.
The integrated communities action plan states immigrants should build a good understanding of British life and learn English – but local communities also have a responsibility to welcome newcomers.
It promises a “package of practical information” for migrants “to help them meet, mix and build social connections with neighbours and the wider community”.
The Life in the UK citizenship test will give greater prominence to national values , while the language requirements for those seeking to become citizens will also be strengthened.
In schools, teachers will be supported to promote British values across the curriculum and there will be a new national strategy for the English language.
Mr Brokenshire said: “We are a successful, diverse democracy – open, tolerant and welcoming.
“These characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.
“However, we cannot ignore the fact that too many places across the country have divides, the benefits and opportunities our great country offers are not always felt by everyone equally.”
He added: “Our new action plan charts a course for how we will engage and work with communities to bring people together in recognition that there is more that binds than divides us.
“And as we embark on a new future outside the European Union, we need to ensure that everyone, whatever their background, has access to the same opportunities.”
The plan also includes measures aimed at ensuring communities have access to information and support to improve their areas, including taking much-loved local assets into community ownership