As the Home Secretary says, preventing terrorists from killing people in Britain must involve more than policing and the efforts of the security services, vital though these are.
It is also important to try to stop people becoming involved in extremism and violence in the first place.
This is where councils, schools and community groups have an important role to play.
By helping organisations to identify youngsters who could become involved in extremism, the Government is inevitably going to be accused of targeting Muslims.
But Ministers cannot be expected to close their eyes to a problem which does exist, for the sake of political correctness. If violent ideas are propagating in any section of the community, they are a concern to us all.
In fact, the problem of the spread of radical and anti-Western ideas was one that British Muslims themselves drew attention to, although they weren't paid much heed before 9-11 took place.
Calls for action to support moderates in mosques which had been taken over by extremists were ignored by Ministers who believed, understandably, that it wasn't a matter for them. That attitude has had to change.
There is some cynicism about the Government's motives in publishing this latest guidance for councils at a time when it is battling to get controversial new terror laws through Parliament.
Accounts from Westminster suggest the Labour rebellion against plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without trial may be crumbling.
If this proves to be true, it would be quite a coup for Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, who has been charged with making the Government's case.
Labour MPs may have been swayed partly by the realisation that their party is on the brink of a major crisis and major defeats in the Commons would only weaken further the position of Gordon Brown.
But it seems they have also been impressed by some of the proposed compromises offered by Ms Smith.
The Government's case is that the ability to hold people for six weeks without any sort of charge would only be used rarely and in genuinely unusual circumstances.
This is well and good, but there is little justification for the planned safeguard which would mean the House of Commons had to vote in favour, each and every time the power was used.
It would mean the Commons ruled on individual cases, confusing the role of the judiciary and the legislature.