Archbishop Worlock slams city neglect
A STRONGLY WORDED plea for the involvement of alienated groups in the future of their environments formed the basis of Archbishop Derek Vv'orlock's address last week to the Community Challenge Conference, held in Liverpool.
The four-day conference, sponsored by the Guardian and the Gulbenkian Foundation, brought together policymakers and project leaders from the major inner city areas of Britain.
Referring to himself as a "reluctant prophet-, Archbishop Worlock warned that unless the people in inner city areas are involved in the industrial regeneration and future planning of their environment, "the mausoleums which will be created will be marred by worse than the graffiti of juvenile vandals-.
He told his listeners they were dealing with "alienated or disadvantaged people, who feel that they have no part in their own destiny, no effective 'say' in how they live and work and are governed". It was "an emotive issue and an explosive one".
"No go areas" were not necessarily territorial. They were often invisible barriers formed over decades, Only when the people there became the locus would there be real progress.
"If we are not just to grass all these areas over, the only approach to the inner cities with their various communities is to and through and with the people who live there" said the Archbishop.
"What must be appreciated is that those you desire to draw into active participation in a renewed community have probably in large measure, lost hope and trust
in the fair deal you claim to offer. In many cases they will regard the openings you offer as irrelevant symbols of a society they wish to reject,he said.
The future, he emphasised, would require "some very definite policy decisions about positions of responsibility into which more than the statutory One black person must be drawn".
The future integration of multi
racial, trt&ti cultura} societies would require a variety of approaches. He instanced the refusal of many people in Liverpool 8 to fill in a council questionnaire, on the grounds that community meetings would be better. The council had pointed to the privacy of a questionnaire. But was it really "either ... or"? asked Archbishop Warlock. "Different cultures and characters surely mean that both methods could well be tried together ... to draw all elements in the locality into active participation in the life of the community."
Fr Austin Smith. a Passionist priest working in the Toxteth area, told the conference last weekend that more resources were needed "to make the voice of the black community more articulate. more independent and more in control of its own destiny".
"Only in so far as one helps the most powerless voice in the community shall we help the voice of all the powerless," he said.
"We must be careful that this is not done. to prevent further riots and crises, but because we are dealing with fundamental human rights and equality."