What is Community Cohesion?
Community cohesion describes the ability of all communities to function and grow in harmony together rather than in conflict. It aims to build communities where people feel confident that they belong and are comfortable mixing and interacting with others, particularly with people from different ethnic backgrounds or people of a different faith. Building cohesion within and between communities is an essential step towards improving people’s quality of life. Viewed from outside, a cohesive community is one in which people will want to live and invest.
Key indicators of community cohesion relate to how people feel about their local area. It can therefore be used as a measure of how well different minority and majority communities develop and relate to each other. Communities may define themselves by neighbourhood, ethnicity or culture, age group, faith, sexual orientation, language, gender or other characteristics or interests.
The process of integration is about helping positive relationships to develop between different groups, towards a shared understanding and common values. Integration is important because of the pace of change in our communities – particularly in relation to demographic change. Where there is no integration negative myth and rumour can dominate.
Within Wrexham County Borough the most significant recent challenge for our communities has been changes to our demographic composition resulting from:
- Economic migration;
- Increased numbers of overseas students at Glyndŵr University;
- Wrexham as a dispersal area for Asylum Seekers.
While these changes have enriched our communities by bringing new skills and talents they have also provided a challenge to service providers and to community relations.