Fresh bid to tackle extremism and unite Leeds communities

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A NEW project aimed at uniting communities in Leeds and giving more support to people considered vulnerable to extremists’ messages is due to be discussed by senior councillors tomorrow.

Leeds City Council’s executive board was due to consider proposals to help inspire trust and confidence across the city’s diverse communities when it meets tomorrow. (Weds Sept 21)

The Strong and Resilient Communities project is aimed at engaging with people from all ethnic groups, backgrounds, faiths and ages, to bring communities closer together.

Among the project’s aims will be raising the aspirations of communities, widening access to economic opportunity and providing more targeted support to people considered more vulnerable to extremism.

Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said “We want every resident, regardless of their background, ethnicity or faith to be proud and feel fully engaged in the life of our city, and to also have the confidence that they can make a real positive difference, not just in their own communities, but to Leeds as a whole.

“The challenge for the council is how we can engage and ensure that the voices of all people in our communities are being heard and that they are not missing out on the opportunities which are available to others in the city. That’s why we are refreshing our approach to cohesion. We are determined to tackle extremism in all of its forms head on...Through a more targeted and intensive approach, we will looking at ways in which we can break down barriers and misconceptions that can sometimes exist between communities and people of different backgrounds, targeting a range of complex social issues that can sometimes make people more vulnerable to the messages of extremists.”