Ethnic minority groups feel unheard by Kirklees

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Ethnic minority groups across Kirklees feel ignored and unheard by the council, a meeting held today revealed.

Representatives from ethnic minority community and voluntary groups accused Kirklees of failing to consult them properly ahead of this year’s budget meeting, due to be held next Wednesday,

But the meeting was cut short when people furiously demanded council leaders come and answer their concerns.

The community consultation at the Al-Hikmah centre, Batley, was organised by racial justice and civil liberties group Just West Yorkshire, and was attended by about 25 people from various community groups.

They demanded another meeting, insisting that council leader Mehboob Khan and Kirklees’ chief executive Adrian Lythgoe attend.

Fakhara Rehman, of the Kirklees Faiths Forum, said: “Did the council decide to hold this meeting? No.

“The decision is being made next week and we haven’t been consulted.”

Despite the two council officers present promising to take this message back to the council, Kirklees Council was criticised for ‘squeezing North Kirklees’ in its budget cuts and failing to talk to community leaders ahead of next week’s full council meeting.

Former community liaison officer Mohammed Afsar said: “Call a meeting with the council leader, get the six local councillors here and let’s talk to them.”

On the panel at the meeting were two council officers, Oxfam project officer Archana Choksi, Saied Laher of the South Asian Consortium Kirklees and Fakhara Rehman.

For the full story and updates see next week’s News.