The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government visited the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre in Warrington, North West England.
The Minister was undertaking a campaigning visit to the area in support of local Warrington North Conservative candidate, Andy Carter.
The Minister expressed a wish to meet the Peace Foundation to hear about ourwork in communities in promoting cohesion and integration and to learn about some of the programmes and techniques being used.
He was welcomed to the centre by charity co-founders, Colin and Wendy Parry and was told about the historical context of the work and the Peace Foundation’s key skill in dialogue to resolve conflict.
Nick Taylor, Chief Executive said: “Robert took up his role in July and wanted to hear about the progress we are making.
“He met one of our community team and we told him about programmes such as Community Action for Peace that we deploy to areas where there may be tension.
“We also spoke about some of the complex mediated dialogue and community-based support we are offering in different areas of the country.”
The Secretary of State confirmed that he wanted arrange a meeting to look at the Peace Foundation’s work in more detail: “If we are re-elected, I will organise a meeting with officials from my department at MHCLG (the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government), the Home Office and the Foreign Office as a matter of priority in early January to see how we can give this centre and the work that it does a sustainable future.
“For me, this is superb work, we know that these issues have not gone away, if anything we are living through a period of increased polarisation in society.
“We want to have more integrated communities so the work that this centre does is very important to the Government, it’s one of our priorities and I want to see it funded into the future.”
The Peace Foundation will be seeking urgent talks with the new Government to ensure its future is sustainable.
The Peace Foundation does not pursue causes and is not politically aligned – during an election we invite all candidates in Warrington North and Warrington South to visit and bring their campaign guests to find out more about our work.