In this podcast link you can hear Francis Sealey interview Professor Mike Hardy about Communities, Cohesion and the 21st Century. Prof Hardy CMG OBE is the Executive Director of the Institute of Social Cohesion.
Local people he argues should be the enablers of advancing any geographical community. Communities are now much more complex and dynamic he says. Diversity within the population is now permanent and it is up to communities to accept this and to stop challenging it. By challenging it, and treating it as a liability, it merely maintains conflict and undermines communities. Diversity should be welcomed as enriching our lives even though for many people it might be something that they are not used to.