Here’s another one to get the blood boiling

// 28 March 2008

Phil TaylorPhil Taylor, local Conservative Councillor for Ealing, has been making some rather rash comments about Southall Black Sisters on his blog. Including these little gems:

One of the basic chores of being a charity/voluntary organisation is justifying what you do with your grants. The council wants the freedom to decide its priorities and to incentivise the third sector to contribute. SBS don’t want to play the game and they think that they can avoid the process by creating a stink.

The SBS people who attended the meeting heckled throughout and went loopy when it was agreed to commission this grant and had to be chucked out.

In all of the verbiage they have produced they have failed to provide any evidence whatsoever that they help women in Ealing today. They talk about a grand history and some big cases but there is nothing to indicate they are an effective deliverer of local services.

One of the commentators on the site declares it to be “an ethnic branch of the SWP [Socialist Workers Party]”.

Hat Tip to Lillith Weekly News Round-up for flagging this one

Comments From You

rachel // Posted 28 March 2008 at 6:14 pm

And the comments are rash because of all that evidence you have provided that SBS deliver a fantastic service to the women of Ealing. And that SBS are not far left in their political analysis. And that they behaved impeccably at the counil meeting. Oh wait… so tell me – why are these remarks rash other than you just don’t like them?

Louise Livesey // Posted 24 April 2008 at 2:28 pm

The supposed “lack” of evidence about SBS effectiveness is entirely because Mr Taylor only reviewed the Charity Commission annual reports (see his original blog entry). The Charity Commission’s job is to ensure financial regularity in the third sector so they aren’t interested in the achievement of targets or the organisation’s effectiveness. Annual reports back to funders is where charities document their meeting of targets and he didn’t seem to have looked at them. No charity I no fails to report back on basic targets like (in this case) numbers of women seen and numbers of support hours provided etc. But they don’t go in the publically published Charity Commission accounts because, well quite simply that’s not what the CC does. In terms of whether they are effective or not I think Mr Taylor needs to be clear about what he considers to be the measures of success – in many cases there are calls to make the number of prosecutions resulting from charities work a key performance target (for example) and this is wholly inappropriate where the service model is about supporting and helping women rather than being an off-shoot of the Police force.

Additionally SBS have published articles on effective practice in peer reviewed journals and in well-respected practitioner publications.

So no it’s not just that I don’t like what he said, it’s that he was wrong. And it’s not that I don’t like what he said, it’s that he has entirely failed to be transparent about the issues. As for their behaviour at the meeting – whatever the rights and wrongs of it to describe them as “loopy” is inflammatory and insulting. As a public representative Mr Taylor should know better.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds