Published 23rd April 2018
London as a whole is continuing to experience rapid population change, and communities are increasingly mobile across the capital. This is resulting in Bexley’s traditionally settled communities, living alongside new and emerging communities.
Indeed, Bexley’s communities are becoming more ethnically diverse. More than three quarters (76.76%) of Bexley’s population is white British compared to less than quarter (23%) of the Bexley population which is non-white British. Over two fifths of the borough’s non-white British residents live in its five northern wards (Thamesmead East, Belvedere, Lesnes Abbey, Erith and North End) and a seventh of the borough’s non-white British residents live in one ward alone (Thamesmead East).
As well as a significant Black African minority ethnic community, who represent 5.34% of the non-white British population, Bexley is also home to a sizable Asian population, and faith-based minorities, including significant Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities (2.4, 1.5% and 1.8% of the total Bexley population respectively).
Alongside Bexley’s changing demographic comes great opportunity for the borough, that is associated with rich and diverse neighbourhoods, as well as the need for the Council to work closely with service providers, residents, voluntary community groups, faith groups and local businesses, to gain early sight of any emerging issues and priorities within new and settled communities.
To unlock the full potential of the opportunity that Bexley’s demographic change brings, communities need to be bridged, whereby they are integrated, cohesive and supportive of each other. To this end, Bexley’s Corporate Plan has a priority to build ‘strong and resilient communities’ which are characterised by people from different backgrounds getting on well together, where people pull together to improve their local area, where people feel strongly that they belong to their local area and where community networks of support help even the most vulnerable people to stay connected, happy and healthy. Bexley’s new Stronger Communities strategy is looking to build on this work, by supporting people and groups in Bexley to use their individual and community talents, skills and assets to make a positive change in their area and celebrate the things that our residents and voluntary sector organisations do to make Bexley a great place to live, work and visit.
Ethnic composition narrative – info source: Origins SWOC and 2011 Census Stronger Communities narrative – info source: internal papers on upcoming Stronger Communities strategy, Corporate plan, stronger communities focus groups, questions on upcoming place survey.