Refuge group to demonstrate outside High Court

SBS bring legal challenge against funding cuts

SUPPORTERS of Southall Black Sisters are set to demonstrate outside the High Court tomorrow as the group take their fight against funding cuts through the legal courts.

The refuge organisation have accused Ealing Council of failing to abide by its duties under the Race Relations Act when it cut the group’s annual funding of £100,000 earlier this year.

SBS have been locked in a battle with Ealing Council who have argued there is no need for specialist services for black and minority women pushing instead to streamline services for abused women.

A final decision on whether the funding cut for SBS is to stand has been postponed a number of times by the council.

Tomorrow SBS and Ealing Council will lock horns in the High Court in a case that is expected to last three months.

A spokesperson for SBS said: “This is no longer simply about the funding of SBS. The case represents a key moment for the third sector.

“The Council will be required to account for the way in which the confused and contradictory ‘cohesion’ agenda is being cynically used to cut essential life saving services to black and minority women in particular.

“Specialist services likes ours are needed, not only for reasons to do with language difficulties and culture pressures, but also because we have considerable experience in providing advice and advocacy in complex circumstances where legal aid is no longer easily available and where immigration and asylum difficulties make some women much more vulnerable than others.”

Supporters will demonstrate outside the High Court for two days.


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