Anything that local authorities can do to reduce ethnic tensions in a community is clearly to be welcomed.
However, the problems which lead to conflict are much deeper than anything Birmingham City Council is likely to be able to deal with.
When feelings are running high, there may be a role for faith leaders, local councillors, police and others to work together to try to defuse tensions and get people talking.
In some cases this may well happen without any prompting or encouragement from the local authority. But it certainly makes sense for councils to provide such encouragement where necessary.
Dealing with tensions when they arise can only be a band aid, however. The real question is why parts of cities like Birmingham are divided on ethnic lines in the first place.
The first and most important answer is, of course, that they are not - at least, not as a general rule.
As we reported last week, when The Birmingham Post revealed the results of a major study, most of the city's residents socialise with people from different backgrounds.
However, tensions between people of different ethnicities do exist, as the Lozells riots demonstrated. An inquiry into the causes of the disturbances warned that some residents displayed "a territorial mentality".
The real problem is a tendency to place too much emphasis on where a person's parents or grandparents came from rather than who they actually are, namely a British citizen and Birmingham resident.
One of the greatest ironies of recent decades is that those most guilty of promoting this nonsense have tended to be well-meaning opponents of racism.
Hence, while some Birmingham residents were deemed to be represented by elected councillors and MPs, others were assumed to have unelected "community leaders" who speak on their behalf.
Instead of providing facilities based on need, councils were encouraged to fund services aimed to specific ethnic groups - actively separating people based on ethnicity, and encouraging them to compete for resources.
A culture also developed whereby translating information into foreign languages was seen as more worthy than helping people learn English, even though an inability to speak and write English is likely to consign people to poverty.
As Ms Blears points out, attitudes have changed and the Government is now actively promoting integration, but there is a long way to go.
However, the problems should not be exaggerated. The high-profile disturbances in Lozells were the exception rather than the rule of life in Birmingham.