We Stood Our Ground – TREC MUST STAY

We Stood Our Ground - TREC MUST STAY

Over 100 people came out to support TREC lobby the Labour group at the Town Hall Square yesterday.

Professor Gus John came to Leicester specially to voice his fears of what would happen to a city like Leicester without TREC.

Speakers reflected on the National and historical relevance of the organisation as well as its contemporary work in addressing racial inequality and providing support to both people who are newly arrived in Leicester and our home grown communities from minority backgrounds.

Cheryl Armatrading came out and spoke about the support TREC provided to her after the death of her son Antion Akpom. She relayed how TREC had become part of her family in her hour of need, at a time where she was unaware of who could help at such a difficult point.

We had support from London, Northamptonshire and Derby. Northampton’s REC came out to support and show solidarity. Together we united.

Ages ranged from toddler to 80s

All nationalities

The crowd repeatedly called on the Labour Group to hear that ‘TREC must stay’. #savetrec

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Big Massive Thank You To All That Came To Support

TREC MUST STAY!

Individuals arriving for the Citizenship Ceremony last night had been previous clients of TREC and were concerned that they could not be with us due to having to go in to the Town Hall to collect their certificates. Texts were received by TREC officers informing them that following the ceremony they would be joining in opposing the funds being removed from the very organisation who got them to the point of being able to receive the said certificate!!

There was applause as Leicester’s City of Sanctuary told the audience that the very organisation that they refer clients to is the organisation being threatened with funding cuts. City of Sanctuary acknowledged that there was no other voluntary organisation with the skills and expertise required to address the problems and issues faced by those very individuals who were now confident enough to take a citizenship test and pass.

SEE YOU ON WEDNESDAY 9TH APRIL AT 5PM AT THE TOWN HALL

SEE YOU ON WEDNESDAY 9TH APRIL AT 5PM AT THE TOWN HALL

Dear Friend,

At TREC’s public meeting 31st March attended by approximately 150 people we asked you do support us in three ways:
1. Sign our petition and ask as many other people as you can to also sign it;

2. Join our lobby on Wednesday 9th April;

3. Be ready to write to your local councillor to ask them to explain why TREC’s funding needs to be stopped.

The petition is going really well. We have more than 1400 signatures now. We need just another 100 signatures to get this matter debated in the chamber. But we would like to push this to at least 2,000 signatures so that there can be no doubt about the level of support that is being demonstrated.

On Wednesday 9th April, we will be lobbying the meeting of the Neighbourhood and Community Involvement Scrutiny Commission to push them to actively scrutinise this proposal. We have learnt that this particular meeting has not allocated time to discuss this matter. But we intend to be there to make sure that the members put it on the agenda for their next meeting. So, IT IS STILL IMPORTANT that we have as many supporters as possible on the lobby with us.

When we spoke about writing to councillors, we anticipated receiving some news from the Mayor’s office within the next day or so. This has not happened. So, we will put this step into action once we have sight of the published report.

THANKS FOR YOU SUPPORT SO FAR.

SEE YOU ON WEDNESDAY 9TH APRIL AT 5PM AT THE TOWN HALL

LEICESTER’S PUBLIC SUPPORT THE RACE EQUALITY CENTRE

LEICESTER’S PUBLIC SUPPORT THE RACE EQUALITY CENTRE

Last night, over 150 people attended a packed public meeting called by The Race Equality Centre (TREC). The meeting informed the organisation’s users and stakeholders of the City Council’s intention to remove all of its funding to TREC.

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People attending came from all racial backgrounds represented in the city, including the indigenous population, long established communities and newly arrived communities. Members of the public who spoke at the meeting were unanimous in their dismay that this decision could be implemented in a city like Leicester. They talked about the support that they had received from TREC on all matters related to race equality, good race relations, service provisions to address their needs and, about the risk that this decision poses to benefits that TREC has brought to the city for 50 years.

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This intended decision is made possible by a City Council ‘review’ that was carried out during the winter. But the review failed to take into account the full range of TREC’s work. This infrastructure review did not even fairly consider the full range of work commissioned by the City Council. Despite this, and before the review results have even been published, steps are being taken by City Council officers to identify alternative providers for some of the core services that TREC has delivered over many decades. People attending the meeting last night pointed out that this demonstrates that the consultation over the review, supposedly to enable cuts in expenditure, was fundamentally flawed as these alternative providers would have to be paid and nobody taking part in the consultation was asked about changing the means of delivery of these services. Less than 140 people responded to the on line survey and less than 80 people attended the consultation events. By means of a comparison, TREC received responses from more than 532 local residents by 16th January.

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The decision will remove all existing support provided for people who live and work in the city by TREC on behalf of the City Council. Specific changes will include:

• The removal of the collective voice for racial minority voluntary and community organisations;
• The marginalisation of the issues relating to racial minority communities and the dilution of race equality awareness, understanding and considerations in policy development and service provision in the voluntary sector;
• Reduced consideration of race equality within public policy making and service provision leading to those bodies not meeting the needs of the citizens of Leicester;
• Risk to a dedicated and highly commended service for new arrivals to the city granted refugee status which has ensured that they are integrated into life in Leicester through the provision of appropriate, tailored and informed support;
• Risk to our work of identifying and sharing best practice for the achievement of race equality drawn from across the country;
• The removal of a ‘free at the point of use’ active support service for individuals seeking effective and informed assistance regarding complaints of racial discrimination or harassment in employment or service provision.

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The meeting agreed to support TREC in their campaign to prevent this decision being implemented. There was agreement that those attending would write to their councillors and the City Mayor to express their concern and dismay that such a valuable organisation should be placed at risk.

Individuals and groups have already begun to complete petitions in support of The Race Equality Centre. So far more than 1500 have signed the petition and, on line postings have made many supportive comments, including:

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“This organisation is a valuable asset to the local community and local government”, and –

“Fantastic work in our ‘supposed’ true multicultural city. How can they even think of pulling funding when the only people it will affect are the most vulnerable.”

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Surinder Sharma, Chair of TREC
“I was really encouraged by the positive comments and support that was offered by many individuals and organisations who were represented at last night’s meeting. They fully endorsed the work that TREC is doing in promoting equality of outcomes in the City and County and did not believe that there is any other local organisation with the specialist skills to undertake this work”

The meeting also agreed that their concerns should be directly shared with the City Council’s Neighbourhood and Community Involvement Scrutiny Commission which is meeting on Wednesday 9th April at 5.30pm.