As widely reported, Birmingham City Council has been awarded £500,000 as part of the government’s “pathfinder” Preventing Extremism project last year – and has now been given an additional £2.4 million under the three year Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programme.
So, as the chap who puts content on here (and not as regularly as I would like) I was interested in what the money would be spent on, especially after hearing anecdotal evidence of extravagance and money being channelled to consultants rather than frontline projects, we asked the council nicely.
We received the following sanitised reply
Please accept the following in response to your Freedom of Information Act request to Birmingham City Council.
Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act
1. Do you know what money has been spent so far?
Over £450k has been spent to date.
2. On what projects and what were the funding criteria?
Birmingham City Council has commissioned a number of stakeholder organisations to deliver projects around the following work areas: Reclaiming Islam (Capacity Building, Governance and Study Circles programme), Media and Communication (Promoting positive aspects of Islam), Young People and Women (Success Clubs, Muslim Women Development and Away Days), Cross Cutting Projects (Islam and the Public and Private Sector, Universities and Colleges).
As a pathfinder a number of pilot projects were developed. All stakeholder organisations were commissioned directly through the Equality and Diversity Service. Grant funding applications were not applicable or utilised as part of the process.
3. What was the decision making process?
Stakeholder organisations were directly commissioned on the basis that they could deliver agreed objectives within specified timescales. Service Level Agreements were completed with all stakeholder organisations prior to their engagement. The project team established within Equality and Diversity co-ordinated the commissioning process.
This was sent in April 22nd 2008, following a request made on March 26 2008 to Alan Rudge, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Human Resources.