Saturday, 5 January 2013

Resolved, or Not Resolved?

An article in the Leicester Mercury today, 5th January, reads:"City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has resolved a bitter dispute over the future of a disused Scout hut.
Demonstrations – some involving hundreds of people and a heavy police presence – have been taking place in Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, for the past six months over plans by a Muslim charity to turn the hut into a community centre.
But yesterday, Sir Peter announced a plan which appears to have satisfied both sides in the dispute. The protesters, who have formed a group called the Forgotten Estates Committee, will be given the lease on the Scout hut for two and a half years rent-free.

The group has told Leicester City Council it will develop it as a community centre.
The Muslim charity, the As-Salaam Trust, has been told it can have the lease to another city council-owned building, the Raven Centre, which is next to the Thurnby Lodge Community Centre, where the charity has been meeting for prayers for the past three years.
Sir Peter said a "small number" of groups which use the Raven Centre will transfer to Thurnby Lodge Community Centre, or other local council buildings.
Mohamed Lockhat, As-Salaam Trust's imam, said: "We are happy a solution has been found. Some people have felt very passionately about the Scout hut, but everyone will be able to work together for the good of the community."
Maxine Williams, licensee of the estate's Stirrup Cup pub and a founding member of the Forgotten Estates Committee, said: "Everybody I have spoken to so far about Peter Soulsby's decision has been ecstatic.
"When we first heard that As-Salaam wanted the Scout hut we knew it was the wrong place because of problems with traffic and noise.
"The Raven Centre is in the community centre complex, so car parking is available for As-Salaam's members."
The Forgotten Estates Committee has collected thousands of pounds for its plan to turn the Scout hut into a community centre.
It followed a public consultation in which questionnaires were sent to 7,000 households in Thurnby Lodge and neighbouring Netherhall.
Some 1,400 responses were returned to the council – a turnout of about 20 per cent.
Most backed the plan unveiled by Sir Peter yesterday, which was one of two options on the questionnaire.
"This option meets everyone's needs, and I am therefore offering both groups the opportunity to make this happen," said Sir Peter. "I think both groups recognise we have worked very hard with them to find a solution which meets everyone's hopes and needs. Both recognise there is a need to move forward in a constructive way and I've been encouraged by the responses both have given.''
The protests began in August and were held outside Thurnby Lodge Community Centre when As-Salaam members met for prayers.
A police operation was launched to make sure the protests remained peaceful after complaints that worshippers felt intimidated.
Two months after the protests started, the Mercury reported the cost of policing them had reached £200,000.
The final total is unknown.
On Boxing Day, a pig's head was found outside the centre.
A 23-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident and is due to appear in court later this month."

Ballot papers were distributed, giving 2 options, and asking for comments

However, it seems that many were returned to the Council with a 3rd box being added and the popular choice of "NEITHER". People also wrote their comments. It seems likely then that these 3rd option papers will be discounted as spoiled votes. 80% do not appear to have voted: is this because they disliked both options and in effect had no vote?

Comments please.


Lee said...

The two option ploy by Soulsby was very clever but actually offered no choice at all. All of the people that I have spoken with on Thurnby Lodge do not want a mosque, in any guise, on the estate. I'm not sure that this is over yet.

David H said...

The police order only applies to the scout hut from what I gather? If there is enough people against the Muslims using the "Raven Centre" then demonstrate out side the Raven centre?

Why are the groups that meet in the Raven centre not protesting that they are being "removed" in favour of this infestation?

David H said...

Leicester Muslim grooming outrange, police do nothing?

David H said...

Is this police action? Just the tip of the Iceberg I suggest. The article will be an interesting read when they appear in court.

SPS is notable quiet on this issue?

David H said...

I had a chance meeting with Mr Soulsby today in the Tesco on Welford Road (conveniently leased just as New Walk Centre) is falling down.

I asked him what he was going to do about the recent race riots in Leicester between Muslims and Sikhs on East Park Road, and the fact that there has been child abuse. I compared it to the recent news events in Rochdale and Oxford, he just smiled and ignored me, does he care about children? Obviously not, includes Indian as well as white children.

Keats said...

The 5 men appeared today; so serious that it has been reffered to crown Court. Magistrates banned publication of names. I rather think people will draw their own conclusions from that...