District debate focuses on community harmony

​Date:24/10/2016

Ref: PR8381


Wakefield Council held a ‘district debate’ to discuss the current state of community harmony in our area.
The event was to celebrate the strengths and diversity of Wakefield and its communities, the journey it has taken to get there and how it can remain an inclusive and welcoming district.

The event was opened by Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council and Chair of the Local Services Board, who stressed the importance of communities and individuals all working together to support tolerance and diversity.

Guest speakers included Dame Louise Casey, Director General of the Casey Review Team, the Bishop of Wakefield, Tony Robinson, and Qari Muhammed Asim, Chief Imam Makkah Masjid.

Cllr Box said: “Our district is known as a tolerant place which welcomes people from many different communities. I am proud that people from all walks of life want to come to Wakefield and to make a home here.

“We are a tolerant society but I cannot stress enough that we must not take this attitude for granted, or rest on our laurels. We all have a responsibility to shape our society both now and in the future, so that it is fair and equal for all.

“The Council cannot do this alone and is vitally important that we all work together with the voluntary and community to achieve our goals, so that everyone coming to live in in our district feels safe, secure and welcome."

Dame Louise Casey praised the Council for taking a lead and stressed the need for people to work together to promote values of tolerance and harmony.

She said: “We need to embrace equality so that everyone has a fair and equal chance to succeed. We need to reach out to all communities and to talk about any difficult issues. And we need to make even greater efforts to come together and unite around our common values, regardless of our race, religion, sexuality or cultural roots.”

The debate was attended by around 60 delegates from different community and voluntary organisations, and the police to share their thoughts and ideas.

The Wakefield Together partnership will consider how to take the feedback forward to ensure that Wakefield is an inclusive and welcoming district.