A meeting at the Welcome Centre this morning between myself and Tony Nelson (for the Council of Faiths) and Roy Roberts and Amita Miles (for Leicester City Council).
We've been informed that our three-year contract with Leicester City Council, which was due to expire on 31 March 2012, has been extended to 30 September. During that six-month period, the City Council will carry out a review of its relations with the several Voluntary and Community Sector organisations that it helps fund.
Roy is in overall charge of these contracts and is leading the review. Amita is our newly-appointed Monitoring officer, to whom I directly report on our outcomes each quarter.
We’re going to receive an amended contract to cover this six month extension. At the moment, there’s some duplication of tasks and duties, largely as a result of us having some responsibilities as part of our “Core Service” and others as part of our “Host Organisation” duties for Leicester Strategic Partnership, a role which came to an end in March 2011. These will be rationalised for this short extended period, avoiding duplication in our monitoring regime.
It may appropriate to describe here what these duties, responsibilities, outputs and outcomes are at present. There's a misunderstanding that the Council of Faiths is funded by Leicester City Council and we're free to do what we like with the money. That's untrue. We're set a number of tasks and are only paid what is a very small amount of money in public terms when we can evidence sufficiently that we have performed these duties.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF CORE SERVICE
Leicester Council of Faiths will encourage and promote knowledge and understanding of, and between, the different faith communities in the city and will work with Leicester City Council to achieve this.
SPECIFIC AIMS OF CORE SERVICE INCLUDE
- To encourage and promote knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of the various faith communities in the city
- To consult and co-operate in social issues
- To increase understanding and tolerance of religion for public benefit by bringing together members of different faith communities
ACTIVITIES TO BE DELIVERED AS PART OF THE CORE SERVICE
- To ensure that the Board is wholly representative of the communities served
- Provision of information on inter-faith issues
- Contribute fully to SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education)
- Organise public inter-faith events
- To consult and co-operate in social issues and other matters of concern
- To raise the profile and public awareness of faith issues within the communities of Leicester
- To act as a partner on inter-agency planning and service development
- To work in partnership with the City Council and its delivery groups to enable effective two-way consultation and communication, in order to convey the views of the city’s diverse communities to be taken into account in the planning and development of services
- To undertake consultative duties to support the Council and its delivery groups in ensuring that its policies and procedures are designed and implemented to eliminate discrimination