JLC lobbies on the Big Society

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 27, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has continued lobbying government ministers over concerns that the Big Society will put financial and bureaucratic pressures on Jewish charities and communal organisations.

JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark and 10 Manchester Jewish leaders met Communities Minister Andrew Stunell on Monday while he visited North Cheshire Jewish Primary School.

The JLC had already met Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in December to discuss its report on the topic. It expressed concerns that the government agenda, which encourages voluntary organisations to take a more active role in running public services, could hamper Jewish organisations from focusing on their own community.

Mr Newmark said: "We are asking how Jewish voluntary sector organisations and charities would take part in the Big Society against a backdrop of the economic climate, the government's spending review and an increasingly tightening legal and regulatory climate along which faith-based organisations must operate."

There was a further concern over the Equality Act, which came into force three months ago. It is designed to tackle discrimination in the workplace, but the JLC has said it is in fact making "technical hurdles" for religious organisations

Last updated: 3:35pm, January 27 2011