Blackpool chief's new role in preventing extremism

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The leader of Blackpool Council has been given a key role in fighting extremism in the UK.

Coun Simon Blackburn, who is already chairman of the the Local Government Association's Safer Communities Board, has joined the Commission for Countering Extremism.

Coun Simon Blackburn

Coun Simon Blackburn

He has been appointed to the Expert Group which has been formed to advise the lead commissioner Sara Khan.

Coun Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been formally appointed to the UK Commission for Countering Extremism.

"As a member of the commission’s panel of experts, I will work alongside the excellent lead commissioner Sara Khan, supporting society to fight all forms of extremism, and advising the government on new policies to deal with extremism.”

Councils are seen as playing an important role in responding to the first signs of extremism.

A blog published by the commission says recent work "has shone a light on the critical role of councils".

It adds: "They are often the first to see the warning signs and first to respond. Simon will ensure we continue to understand the challenges faced by local authorities and what more we can do to support them."