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Disappointing: Letter from RCRE to Cllr Townend

I’ve seen a copy of a letter from the Chair of the Reading Council for Racial Equality to Cllr Mike Townend that was read out in the council’s own Ethnic Minority Forum .  This is where residents come to discuss the council’s policies relating to ethnic minorities (there are similar forums aimed at a wide range of groups in the town e.g. the elderly, the access group, children etc).

I reproduce a copy below:

(acronym buster: BME – black and minority ethnic, EMF – ethnic minority forum, RCRE – Reading Council for Racial Equality) 
I am told that this was sent because the lead councillor refused to put the cuts to community groups on the agenda.  Cllr Bet Tickner was there and said that at the previous meeting there had been 23 attendees from a range of groups and it was down to just 3 this time, so clearly there was widespread agreement with this decision. 

My view:

This isn’t the only group of people not being properly consulted.  You may or may not agree with a particular decision but it is important to at least consult and discuss the impact with people affected, if nothing else to work out what else can be done.

This is a worrying indication that the Conservatives aren’t listening and don’t want to work for the whole of Reading

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is in line with the new meaning of 'consult' i.e. telling you what we are going to do, ignoring what you say, and doing it anyway.
    This is not just seen in local govt but in the commercial world too where big companies 'consult' on work force reduction.

    Reading has a good record on relations between different minorities and these cuts are not going to help that continue. This could be seen as part of the ConDem coalition ideology to drive society back to the 'good old days' before the welfare state, unions and discrimination laws

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was one of the “3”. I was not aware that others had chosen not to attend the meeting, although I was aware that the ruling coalition might have made this the last ethnic minority forum meeting.
    I was puzzled why 2 or 3 lib dem councillors, not known for their interest in the ethnic minorities were sitting some distance away from the meeting fiddling with their PCs and diaries. Were they monitoring their colleague speaking on health, or were they monitoring the rest of us? Perhaps it was better entertainment than at Ashburton Grove.

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