Black Community Projects in Crisis

Back to all Motions

2008 National Black Members' Conference
12 September 2007
Carried as Amended

National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) is concerned to learn that:-

Birmingham City Council (BCC) is carrying out radical changes to the way it delivers services. A newspaper article in July 2007, revealed the Council’s plan to axe 1000 jobs in the Finance Department by October 2007, as part of its cost cutting exercise. The Council had rejected this claim but have confirmed that 225 jobs will be lost, however we are aware that more jobs will be lost over the next 10 years which coincides with the fact that BCC has created a 10 year strategic partnership with a private company whose prime objective is to deliver one billion pounds worth of savings for reinvestment into services, supposedly. This will inevitably mean displacement of staff and job loses. As part of this efficiency savings BCC is also proposing to get rid of 55 of its business premises over the next 10 years with only 9 premises remaining.

NBMC is also concerned that:-

The proposed cuts will have devastating consequences to Black Community Projects who rely on Council funding and in some instances Council premises in order to provide services in the Black Community. Meeting with a number of Black Project workers confirm that the proposed efficiency savings is starting to have a major impact on a large section of Black Community Projects. Resulting in the risk of closure to some of these long standing projects caused by the removal of funding by BCC.

NBMC should be aware of:-

The spate of knife and gun crimes which is more noticeable within the Black community. Birmingham has been on the brink of gang culture for sometime.

We value the services of our Black community projects who offer some hope to young vulnerable Black people by engaging, empowering and encouraging

positive changes which will undoubtedly enhance the future of our young Black people who are often neglected by society through education, housing and employment. Therefore it is disappointing to learn that whilst we are seeking a solution to the problem BCC is more concerned about efficiency savings than valuing the lives of our children. Unfortunately this is the direction BCC appears to be going down by choosing to disregard the needs of our young Black people, so it would be fair to argue that BCC has it own interpretation of Community Cohesion and Integration. Consequently instead of creating harmony amongst the various groups of our society BCC is potentially creating a divide which will prove more difficult to mend. Therefore it is down to us to continue to fight for the rights of our young people and also fight to support those projects that show willingness to help our vulnerable young people.

We therefore instruct the NBMC to liaise with the National Executive Council to:-

1.Investigate the extent of the problem regarding loss of funding from Black Community Projects;

2.Work with the West Midlands Region in conjunction with the Local Branch to identify the projects most at risk from the loss of funding and mount a campaign to prevent the loss of funding from these projects;

3.Call upon the Local Government Service Group to provide assistance and guidance to the Black SOG in dealing with this issue;

4.To work with UNISON Labour Link to highlight the issue raised in this motion.