Thursday, 16 December 2010

In the fast lane with a whole load of crashes around

I was presenting a statement signed by about a dozen Black and minority ethnic groups and 80 individuals at the Northampton Borough Council Overview and Scrutiny Panel tonight. The statement was developed by Voice 4 Change with input from NREC and Council for Ethnic Minorities. The first shocking thing about the experience was the paucity of Councillors in attendance. Although the weather was dire it was traversable and clearly myself and several other members of the public had made the trip out. Having elected Councillors the least that they can do it to actually turn up and represent you or in this case listen to you.
The statement was not news. It was basically the articulation of the frustration that many Black groups have had with not achieving any resource from Northampton Borough Council. The Council’s position is that the applications made by the Black and minority ethnic organisations were simply not robust enough to get through the scoring framework. One could argue a very similar argument used by 21 Oxbridge Colleges here.
The other big news is about the cuts released by the County Council so far but so far very little detail exists on what this means for specific communities. It’s all very well stating that bus route subsidies will have to be re-negotiated but to look at this effectively with an equalities eye, it is really important to identify which ones we are actually talking about and which communities that they actually serve. In the mean time things that were seen as important for vulnerable members of the community now seem to be put on hold

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