Worcestershire comes out top for community cohesion

Published Monday, 23rd November 2015

Latest research shows that Worcestershire is one of the top places to live in the country when it comes to community cohesion.

In this year's Worcestershire Viewpoint Survey 8 out 10 people in the county said that they get on well with people from different backgrounds.


Bromsgrove is the most community cohesive part of the county with 91 per cent of those people surveyed in the district agreeing that Bromsgrove is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together. In the city of Worcester 84 per cent of people said that they got on well with people from other backgrounds where as in Redditch 8 out of every 10 people surveyed agreed.


In general Worcestershire has more older people than average, with Pershore thought to have one of the highest concentrations of older people in the country.  The majority, 95.7%, class themselves as white, with 4.3% of respondents seeing themselves from other ethnic groups.


Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for localism and communities agrees, "It is pretty clear that communities who get on and who are willing to work together will ultimately be more prosperous and generate an environment where communities can grow. That can be that in a purely economic sense or in terms of groups coming together as we have seen recently at The Hive with the recent Children in Need event."


The Worcestershire Viewpoint Survey is conducted by Worcestershire County Council on behalf of the Worcestershire Viewpoint partnership.  This consists of nine public organisations including the County Council, district councils, NHS Clinical commissioning groups and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.   The survey is conducted via a postal and online self-completion approach, where over 4,900 Worcestershire residents were invited to participate between May 18 and June 12 2015. 


Cllr Simon Geraghty, deputy leader with responsibility for skills economy and infrastructure added: "I am proud to live in the county where people get on.  This is very much in evidence when you look at lots of different aspects of living in Worcestershire.  We are proud of our history, heritage and countryside but equally willing to welcome new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship.  This is made possible through the cooperation of everyone in the county as well as our priorities to ensure good infrastructure and the right support for business such as developing a workforce with the right skills and training."


Chief Constable David Shaw, West Mercia Police, said: "The evidence from the survey is a clear reflection that communities in Worcestershire are tolerant, respectful and work hard to get on with each other.  This doesn't happen by chance however, it requires everybody to be understanding, to be prepared to listen and to work together when there are challenges.  The communities in Worcestershire deserve huge credit for this but I also believe many organisations also have a key part to play in building and maintaining the community cohesion highlighted in the survey.


"It is very encouraging that the people of Worcestershire not only appreciate that we live and work in one of the best places in the country but also that they are willing to invest time, care and commitment to building even stronger communities."


This news comes following last week's announcement that Worcestershire has the strongest productivity growth figures in the country.  Although this measure is strongly linked with business innovation and growth, as well as investment in skills and infrastructure, it is also a good indication of how well our communities work together and community cohesion.