What does community cohesion mean for Stockton-on-Tees?
The national definition of community cohesion is:
Community Cohesion is what must happen in all communities to enable different groups of people to get on well together. A key contributor to community cohesion is integration, which is what must happen to enable new residents and existing residents to understand one another.
Our vision of an integrated and cohesive community is based on three foundations:
- People from different backgrounds having similar life opportunities
- People knowing their rights and responsibilities
- People trusting one another and trusting local institutions to act fairly
And three key ways of living together:
- A shared future vision and sense of belonging
- A focus on what new and existing communities have in common, alongside a recognition of the value of diversity.
- Strong and positive relationships between people from different backgrounds
More simply, community cohesion is about creating the opportunities to bring people together, challenge myths and intolerance and enable people to achieve their full potential.
Community cohesion recognises that every area is unique and will face different challenges, Stockton-on-Tees has a rich diversity and mixture of busy town centres, urban residential areas and picturesque villages, we will meet the differing needs of our residents in a way that suits them to achieve and promote community cohesion.
Our resident’s top ten priorities closely correlate with the things that can improve cohesion:
Top 10 priorities
- Community Safety
- Creation of jobs
- Regeneration of run down areas
- Attracting new businesses to the area
- Town centres
- Provision of affordable housing
- Training for jobs
- Transport links
- Environmental improvements
- Cultural and leisure facilities
Also, ongoing consultation with residents groups and associations across the borough suggests that whilst many of our communities face different issues, there are recurring challenges common to all areas. Key amongst these are relationships between young and older people, and problems accessing transport to participate fully in community life.
 How we will tackle these challenges as well as others identified for the borough is outlined in the action plan for this strategy.