Statement by the Birmingham Strategic Partnership Post 7/7 Group.
Birmingham, in common with all great cities, faces more challenges as a
consequence of the atrocities of 7/7 and attempted atrocities of 21/7.
These are challenges we need to face together so that we develop a society
based upon principles such as security and justice rather than sliding into
intolerance and conflict. In the coming years, Birmingham will continue to become a more ethnically diverse city, a fact which we should promote and be pround of. Integration, trust and respect between the various ethnic and religious communities within the city is not only desirable, but essential for Birmingham's economy to prosper. Indeed, the long term success of the city is dependent on it. We must work against polarisation and towards a tolerant, diverse society built on cooperation, trust, security and understanding.
In Birmingham we can all contribute towards the objective of a peaceful, prosperous,
secure and just society which everyone feels equally part of and whose
members views are listened to and responded to.
We call upon all the organisations in Birmingham to work together towards
these ends. At this particular time communication is the key. Whilst the BSP acknowledges the valuable contributions made by many organisations and individuals to community consultation, the BSP must re-double its efforts to hear the views of those who are not normally listened to as part of normal consultation events. Young people, women, those people who go to the gym, snooker
hall or public house, need to feel just as involved as elderly male
community leaders. The city requires consultation processes which can reach more widely than, but are entirely inclusive of, faith communities.
We call upon all organisations in Birmingham to use their consultation
procedures to ask for responses from people as to what they think should
happen after 7/7.
We are concerned that the government appears to be concentrating its efforts on only
talking to one community. We feel that all the communities in Birmingham
can contribute towards taking things forward.
We call for further work on interfaith activities at local level to
build upon the work done on a city wide basis by the Faith Leaders Group and
Council of Faiths. This is a challenge that can be faced by the members of
local churches, mosques, gurdwaras, temples and other religious
institutions without any need for central involvement.
We call for all responses from people as to their views to be collated and
sent to the BSP at the City Council (c/o John Hemming). The BSP will then
collate them further and pass the views of Birmingham to the government and
the wider country.
We call for the media to see the situation as an opportunity to work
towards greater tolerance and a more trusting society. We recognise that the
Birmingham media have done well on this, whilst noting that other media
outlets have not done as well.
We will come together in the future to ensure that problems are resolved
effectively and in a timely manner through communication.