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Press release: New government action to create stronger, more integrated Britain

first_img Email [email protected] General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclg Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today (14 March 2018) set out an ambitious long-term plan of action to tackle the root causes of poor integration and create a stronger, more united Britain.The Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, to which £50 million will be committed over the next 2 years, seeks views on the government’s bold proposals to boost English language skills, increase opportunities for more women to enter the workplace, and promote British values and meaningful discussion between young people.Britain is on the whole, a well-integrated society, with 85% of people reporting a feeling of belonging strongly to Britain.But the evidence, including Dame Louise Casey’s independent review into opportunity and integration, overwhelmingly points to a significant number of communities being divided along race, faith or socio-economic lines.This reduces opportunities for people to mix with others from different backgrounds, allows mistrust and misunderstanding to grow, and prevents those living in isolated communities from taking advantage of the opportunities that living in Britain offers.The strategy sets out a range of actions the government plans to take to bring divided communities together, including:Boosting English language skillsWe are proposing a new strategy to promote adoption of the English language across all communities in England, including a new community-based English language programme, a new network of conversation clubs, and support for local authorities to improve the provision of English language tuition for those who need it most.Increasing economic opportunity, particularly for womenJobcentre Plus will trial new approaches to support people from some of the most isolated communities into work through personalised skills training to address their individual needs.Ensure that every child receives an education that prepares them for life in modern BritainNew proposals to ensure young people have the opportunity to mix and form lasting relationships with those from different backgrounds, promotion of British Values across the curriculum and increased take up of the national citizen service.Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: Media enquiries Britain can rightly claim to be one of the most successful diverse societies in the world. But we cannot ignore the fact that in too many parts of our country, communities are divided, preventing people from taking full advantage of the opportunities that living in modern Britain offers. Successive governments have refused to deal with the integration challenges we face head on, preferring to let people muddle along and live isolated and separated lives. We will put an end to this through our new strategy which will create a country that works for everyone, whatever their background and wherever they come from. Integration challenges are not uniform throughout the country, with different areas and communities having varying needs. We want to start a debate on the Integrated Communities Strategy, to find the most effective ways to address integration challenges. The consultation will run for 12 weeks to 5 June 2018.Further measures included as part of the Integrated Communities Strategy:Building stronger leadershipThe strategy calls on leaders in national and local government, business and civil society to ensure all services have a strong focus on integration.Supporting recent migrants to integrate into the communityWe will provide a package of practical information for recent migrants in our integration areas to better help them understand and navigate British life, values and culture. We will also improve communities’ ability to adapt to migration and manage pressures on local services and amenities in order to promote more effective integration.Respecting and promoting equal rightsThe strategy sets out new measures to empower marginalised women, including exploring reform of the law on marriage and religious weddings. We will support training of faith leaders to practice in the British context understanding British culture and shared values. We will also strengthen action to tackle hate crime and encourage greater reporting of incidents.Building vibrant communitiesAn Integration Innovation Fund will be introduced to allow organisations to bid to test out new approaches to bring people from different backgrounds together and we will make better use of shared community spaces such as parks and libraries.Further informationSee the Integrated Communities Strategy.To deliver the vision set out in this strategy we recognise that we need to talk to individuals and communities to hear what they think the key issues are and how communities and local and national government can tackle them. The consultation period will run for 12 weeks.85% of respondents felt that they belonged ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ strongly to Britain. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Community Life Survey 2016-17. The government will work with 5 ‘Integration Areas’ to develop local integration plans: Blackburn with Darwen; Bradford; Peterborough; Walsall and Waltham Forest.These 5 local authorities have already demonstrated a keen grasp of the challenges they face and shown a desire to try new things and learn from what works. Learning from these areas about what works – and, just as importantly, what doesn’t work – will be shared more widely as the programme develops.Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:center_img If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF £50 million to support new Integrated Communities Strategy strategy includes bold proposals to boost English language skills, increase opportunities for women and promote British values in education We want to make sure that all children learn the values that underpin our society – including fairness, tolerance and respect. These are values that help knit our communities together, which is why education is at the heart of this strategy. It’s also important that children are taught in a safe environment and that we can act quickly if children are at risk or being encouraged to undermine these values. Together, with Ofsted and communities across the country, we will build on the work already underway to achieve this. Office address and general enquiries Social media – MHCLG Contact form https://forms.communit…last_img read more

Samantha Bond on Her Disastrous Audition For London’s Scoundrels

first_img Was it difficult gaining confidence in yourself in a singer? It was. At first I didn’t want anybody to see my singing, and it took a very long time for me to overcome that. For a long time in rehearsals if anyone beside the musical director came in, I completely froze and turned my back on them again. It was quite a journey to go from singing in a cupboard to singing in front of 1,400 people [laughs]. It certainly feels like luxury casting to have you in this role. [Laughs.] I don’t know that [my colleagues] think that at the moment! But what’s been most extraordinary has been the love and support our ensemble has given me. There are moments where I have been literally shaking with terror and the young dancers have put their arms around me and held me and championed me and picked me up; I’ve literally been blown away by their support. Here you are in your first musical. Had you been angling to sing and dance on stage? No, it came completely the other way around! My agent rang and said, “They’re doing a new musical and I’ve suggested you for the part of Muriel,” and I said, “I don’t do musicals; Alex [Bond’s husband, Stephen Ward alum Alexander Hanson] does musicals,” and my agent said, “But I’m sure you can.” So I went away and thought about it and listened to [Muriel’s] big number and thought, well, if I was going to have this experience, it couldn’t be more phenomenal than to have it in this company. Tell us your thoughts on Muriel—she’s British in this version, which of course she was not on Broadway. Very British—she comes from Surrey! What was useful for me was that I never saw the show on Broadway or the film, so I was able to approach the whole thing totally fresh. I think of Muriel as someone incredibly wealthy who’s recently divorced and is looking for love, and her one drive in life is to be useful and helpful. She’s smitten very early on by Robert Lindsay, who beguiles her by pretending to be a prince. She’s an innocent, an absolute innocent. Samantha Bond was a Tony nominee for Amy’s View, played Moneypenny in the Bond (no relation) films, and appeared in Downton Abbey as Lady Rosamund—but only now is the 52-year-old actress tackling her first-ever musical. The new production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre features Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound as two con artists let loose on various unsuspecting Riviera culprits, with Bond as an Anglicized version of Muriel Eubanks, the glamorous divorcee originated on Broadway by Joanna Gleason. The protean actress spoke to Broadway.com about her fears of singing and dancing in public, and taking a vocal cue from her former Broadway and West End co-star, Judi Dench. With your two children, Tom and Molly, now entering the profession as actors, might we at some point see an all-Bond/Hanson project? [Laughs.] Only if someone writes a rather extraordinary play! Leaving the vocals aside, how does it feel to be part of a big West End musical, with all the expectations that entails? You become really aware with something like this of the scale of it and the fact that it’s a huge undertaking quite unlike being in a straight play. And I think when there’s so much riding on a project, then all the pressures are greater: musicals are such expensive machines. Did you take a leaf from your friend and former co-star Judi Dench (Amy’s View), who always says that she sings the way she speaks? I think that is the way to approach it. Even Alex, who sings properly, always says that the reason you break into song in a musical is because speech is no longer enough and, following that logic, that you should be singing as you speak, as it were. What Judi says about singing is all I can do. What’s been the most exhausting aspect of the job? The stairs at the Savoy! There are 55 stairs down to the stage and back up again to my dressing room and then there are 13 to the exit, and I’m forever going up and down. I added it up about a week ago and it was something like 976 steps that I have to climb every night. What was your audition like? There were ten people there, including [book writer] Jeffrey Lane, [composer] David Yazbek and [director/choreographer] Jerry Mitchell, and I sang the song with my back to the entire room—which is precisely what you’re taught not to do—and then read for them. Jerry put his arms up and twirled me around in a waltz and I left the room feeling the whole thing had been a total disaster, but thank heavens I wouldn’t have to do it again. Then before I knew it, I had the job. Good heavens! That’s a far cry from the demands of playing Lady Rosamund in Downton Abbey. How has that been? What’s been interesting is that my character only arrived in the last episode of the first series, so by the time I got there, I knew something extraordinary was happening. I think the older members of the cast in particular were aware that the show was being done so carefully and with such style—such attention to detail—that by the time I got there, it was as if a delicate perfume was hanging around the entire project. I’ve been filming again this week, mostly with Laura Carmichael [who plays Lady Edith], and I’ll be filming again over the summer. Had you really never sung in a show before? The last time I sang in public was in pantomime at the Bristol Old Vic some 30 years ago when I was a year or two out of drama school. I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be doing it again. View Commentslast_img read more