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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 21:59 GMT 22:59 UK
Bradford 'needs action, not words'
Burnt-out car showroom
Rioters have caused a huge amount of damage
What has gone so wrong in Bradford that community tensions have boiled over into violence and destruction?

A report by Lord Ouseley has identified some of the problems but Manawar Jan Khan, of Bradford's Manningham Residents' Association, says the views of ethnic communities are seldom sought and frequently ignored.

The events in Manningham continue to highlight the institutional paralysis we have seen in Bradford since the 1995 disturbances.


Local initiatives have failed because they do not have local involvement behind them

There remains complacency and a lack of clear leadership in both the policy and political arena.

Bradford is very good at so-called visions, strategies and initiatives, but very poor on making it happen at a ground level.

Questions remain to be answered as to what difference has been made since 1995.

Have the police really tackled a culture of institutional racism and myopia? Have the predominantly white employers in Bradford recruited from the poor and deprived districts?

Isolated communities

And has the local authority been too busy consulting with so-called community leaders and been in denial that it has not seen the reality of its actions?

No-one is excusing the violence of Saturday, but nor are we blaming our communities for a future that leaves them isolated and deprived of aspirations.

The race review undertaken by Lord Ouseley is yet another nice glossy publication, but the test now is how is it going to have impact.

Organisations such as Manningham Residents' Association, and those of us who have worked hard to change things, are often sidelined and ignored due to our alleged so-called subversive tendencies.

Local initiatives have failed because they do not have local involvement behind them.

Old-style thinkers

What, for instance, has the youth service been doing for the past four to five years in working with disenchanted youth in the deprived communities, both black and white?

What is needed in Bradford is a clear-out of old-style thinkers and a modernisation that brings in new talent and expertise.

Secondly, the brain-drain of talented young Asians and others needs to be stopped and employers asked to take positive action at all levels.

Thirdly, community activism needs to be encouraged and facilitated to ensure that initiatives have an impact in the long term.

In the final analysis, we need to build the people in our communities, not destroy their souls.

Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


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See also:

10 Jul 01 | UK Education
09 Jul 01 | UK Politics
01 Jul 01 | UK
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