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Community Relations: Religion

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the statement of the Prime Minister of 14 November 2007, Official Report, columns 667-72, on national security, when she expects the new board of experts to advise local authorities, councillors and local communities on tackling radicalisation and those promoting hate announced by the Prime Minister to be set up; who she expects to be members of the board; what she expects the cost of the board to be; and if she will make a statement. (168399)

I have been asked to reply.

We are working with the Improvement and Development Agency to develop a network of qualified peer mentors to provide advice to local authorities on work to prevent violent extremism. Peer mentors are made up of locally elected councillors, local council officials and voluntary sector representatives who will be available to work with local authorities to develop their approaches to preventing violent extremism. The approach is currently being piloted, with a view to rolling out the programme further shortly. To date 25 new peers have been accredited. The costs of accreditation and training totalled approximately £35,000 in 2007-08.