Mike Hayes is in a better position than most people in Oldham to judge if bridges have been built between the town's communities since 2001.
Mr Hayes runs Oldham's most popular chip shop in the centre of town at the Tommyfield Market.
But he lives in the town's wealthy Saddleworth district, a predominately white area which is on the Yorkshire/ Lancashire border.
It is clear from Mr Hayes' experiences that, five years after the riots, Oldham still has problems with the segregation of communities.
There are few Asian families living near his £320,000 house in t he Greenfield area of Saddleworth.
And there are only four ethnic minority pupils at Delph Primary School, where his eight-year-old son Harry goes.
At Tommyfield Chip Shop, the 48-year-old serves boys and girls in groups that are rarely made up of people from different communities.
He said: "They do tend to be in groups of either white people or Asians. Mainly because they are from the same areas. Like it or not, Oldham has become segregated geographically. People want to live with customs and habits that they know."
This is also true of people who live out of town.
"Most people who live near me would not go into Oldham to do their shopping because it is considered a bit dingy. Many people go out to Huddersfield or Ashton," he said.
"I know a lot of people who have racist inclinations. Not people I would call friends but I hear an awful lot and see an awful lot."
A suspicion that the market had declined because of the increase in Asian cloth sellers was an example of "derogatory tones" that were commonplace in Oldham, Mr Hayes claimed.
Mr Hayes lived in the Glodwick area of Oldham until he was 12, but he finds it unsettling when he returns to the area to visit his doctor.
"There is an element of fear in Glodwick. Although I could walk around there as a nine-year-old, it is very different as a 48-year-old," he said.
Attempts are being made by Oldham Council to bridge the gaps between the different communities. Mr Hayes' son spends at least a day every month at Coppice Juniors, an inner city predominately Asian school.
But the benefits of schemes such as these will take a long time to work, Mr Hayes said.
"To Harry it makes no difference if the other pupils are Asian or white. He just knows if they are bad or nice," he said.
"Oldham council is trying, but the problem with councils is that they try to force things which sometimes need time to work.
"I think it is so that the council can say 'we are doing something about it' but I do not think it will make a bit of difference. "The only way people accept multiculturalism is if they can live in their own communities.