"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Abuse of Public Funds

I thought I would compile four articles I found recently which show just how public money is spent in Britain.

Although the vast majority of the money discussed is taxpayers' cash, some is from charitable organisations which use the money of unwitting donors to fund exclusively ethnic or faith-based organisations - which would be banned if set up by the indigenous majority.

The first article concerns £550,000 which will be spent "improving grades and employment opportunities" in Bradford's Islamic supplementary schools:
A £550,000 programme is aiming to improve grades and employment rates in some of Bradford's Islamic supplementary schools.

The Open Madrasah Network is a pilot project which will offer additional support in some of the district's madaris.

Four madaris in the area are initially taking part in the scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the country

Of those taking part initially, one madrasah is in Keighley and three are in Bradford.

The madaris participating in the project will receive English and maths tutoring along with supplementary GCSE courses, careers advice and jobs fairs.

From January the network will be expanded to include a further 15 madaris.

Speaking ahead of the project's launch yesterday at the House of Lords, Bradford Council leader Kris Hopkins said: "We are travelling to London to show how Bradford district is at the cutting edge of education and social change in Britain.

"By providing additional support within madaris we are reaching into the heart of the community and offering more people access to life-changing services.

"Education, skills and employment are important priorities for Bradford Council and we are completely committed to doing everything we can to ensure all our residents are given the best possible opportunities."

Councillor Hopkins, chair of the Open Madrasah Network, joined Lord Kamlesh Patel OBE and representatives from Yorkshire Forward, Asian Trade Link (Yorkshire) Ltd and Education Bradford in London yesterday.

The key figures from Yorkshire spoke to a select group of MPs, peers and education and business representatives at the launch.

Arshad Javed, of ATL, said "We believe this is an exciting initiative that can bring about real transformational change in raising standards and bring about a more inclusive society."

The programme will offer children and adults a comprehensive package of support designed to boost educational grades, employment rates and improve life chances for some of Bradford district's most disadvantaged residents.

The project will work with children as young as primary school age all the way through to older students who are sitting GCSEs as well as adults.

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward is funding the programme with £550,000 over three years.

The director of economic inclusion for Yorkshire Forward, Thea Stein, said: "Yorkshire Forward has developed this project because of our recognition of the importance of the Muslim faith sector in Bradford as holding critical keys in improving the economic outcomes for Bradford's communities.

"We are confident that the approach we have used to building this partnership will be instrumental in shaping better outcomes for attainment, jobs and skills. "

The Open Madrasah Network is being delivered by ATL with Education Bradford, Bradford Council, Yorkshire Forward, Jamiyat Tabligh Ul Islam, Madania Tahfeezul Quran, Abu Zahra Foundation, Islamic Cultural and Educational Association.

The head of cohesion and diversity for Education Bradford, Jani Rashed, said: "The relationship between madrasahs and mainstream schools is a very important factor when looking to raise levels of educational attainment.

"The Open Madrasah Network makes for a very good vehicle in developing that relationship.

"Education Bradford is very pleased to be working in partnership with Yorkshire Forward and ATL as a major stakeholder in piloting this project."

The second article reveals that £1 million is spent every year on one group of 120 asylum seekers who have been refused permission to stay in Britain but are still living in Croydon:
Some have not been deported years after applications to remain in Britain were rejected, and until they are the council is continuing to support them.

Because they have been refused asylum they cannot work, so the council gives them benefits and somewhere to live.

The asylum seekers have all come to Croydon, unaccompanied by an adult, when under the age of 18.

The council is reimbursed for looking after them until they are 18 but after that it gets no money at all, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

The number of people in this situation has tripled in just two years, with the cost of looking after them quadrupling from £250,000 in 2007 to an estimated £1 million for 2009.

The council argues it has a statutory obligation to make sure this group of vulnerable people do not end up on the street, and says the Home Office is not doing enough to deport them.

However, the UK Border Agency says the council is not legally obliged to do so, and that efforts are being made to ensure some are sent home, while others are appealing or cheating the system.

More cases are likely in the future as a result of the Government's controversial decision to make Croydon the only place in the UK people can claim asylum.

Richard Ottaway, MP for Croydon South, believe the latest revelation makes a mockery of the Government's claim the change in policy will have a minimal impact on Croydon.

"I am both surprised and concerned by these figures," he said.

"They illustrate the problem Croydon is facing by becoming the country's only walk-in asylum centre.

"It is inevitable the numbers of asylum seekers will increase, and it is equally likely the number of rejections will rise, meaning more people will fall into this category.

"The Government needs to explain why they have failed to deport these people, and why the taxpayer is counting the cost."

A spokesman for the council revealed the expense is likely to increase as other young asylum seekers are awaiting a decision.

The head of the UK Border Agency's local immigration team in Croydon, Frances Beasley, says that people with no right to remain in Britain are "expected to return voluntarily" but will be removed if they don't.

She added: "Of the cases that the council is assisting, each one is different.

"Each case can take a different amount of time to finalise, depending on whether there are outstanding appeals or travel documents to be processed for removal."

The third article reveals that a charity, the Football Foundation, has donated £235,000 to the "Muslim Women's Sport Foundation":
THE Muslim Women's Sports Foundation (MWSF) is celebrating following a £235k grant awarded by the Football Foundation, the UK's largest sports charity.

The grant will allow the the group to embark on the the Born to Succeed project - a three year plan aiming to increase the number of black, minority ethnic women in sport.

The MWSF hopes to provide facilities and support that take into consideration religious and cultural sensitivities of black, minority ethnic women - by developing a number of futsal and basketball clubs, introducing summer and year-round leagues, engaging in school outreach programmes, conducting research projects and in recruiting and training volunteers, coaches and referees.

It will also allow increasing access to player pathways, promoting healthy living in the community, providing alternative social activities in mainstream society, promoting cohesion and understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and developing role models for future generations of women.

Chairperson of the MWSF, Rimla Akhtar said: "The fact is that there are many Muslim women in this country who love to play sport and compete - this enthusiasm has been made clear in the work we have carried out so far.

"However, there has been a definite lack of funding and resources such as facilities - that cater for the needs of groups like MWSF.

"This grant, we believe, is the first of its kind and will enable the MWSF to build a foundation on which future generations of minority ethnic women can grow and succeed when it comes to sport. It is only the beginning of a much larger effort to develop healthy and confident women and girls in the UK.

"We thank the Football Foundation for leading the way in supporting the sporting development of this unique group of women and girls."

The launch of the Born to Succeed project will take place on tomorrow (31 October 2009) at the Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, Queen's Drive, Acton , between 10 to 11.15 am.

Finally, The Somerset County Gazette reveals that the government will spend £314,000 of a levy collected on non-EU students and migrants on "helping Polish and Portuguese migrants have access to public services":
A POT of £314,094 will help Polish and Portuguese people living in Somerset get better access to key services.

The cash, passed on by the Government from a levy on non-European Union migrants and students, will help non-English speakers with services such as the police, education and mental health.

The scheme includes hiring Polish-speaking Police Community Support Officers; signposting basic services such as health, housing and social care; free interpreting services for schools; ensuring migrants know how to access mental health services.

Chief Superintendent Nikki Watson, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “In Somerset we have some diverse communities and together with our partners we share a desire to serve all aspects of our society.

“This money will help us to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the services available to them and that they feel confident using them."

Projects to be implemented by the partnership agencies over the coming months include: *Polish liaison PCSOs working with Polish communities to build trust and confidence in the police, reduce fear of crime and improve dialogue.

*Community Link Workers for Polish and Portuguese-speaking communities to introduce and signpost migrant workers to basic services such as health, housing and social care, establish a migrant workers’ forum and appoint a part-time English teacher.

*support workers for 14 to 19-year-old migrant backgrounds to meet together, ensure greater participation in mainstream activities and help them apply for school and college places.

*mental health qualified support workers to support migrant worker communities.

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