Christian Party callS for the re-establishment of town & community councils
The Christian Party believes in local democracy and is calling for more involvement of the community in its own government.
One Christian Party initiative has shown that 70% support this, and One Voice Wales has recommended that all local councils investigate it.
There are 735 community and town councils in Wales, representing the tier of government closest to the people. They cover approximately 94% of the land area and 70% of the population of Wales. So almost a third of the population is not represented at local level.
Contrary to the proposal to almost half the number of County Councils, the Christian Party believes that town and community councils will deliver what is needed at local level. People currently have difficulty getting action from their County Councillors, so how much more difficult will this be if there is a significant reduction in numbers and if councillors cover a far greater area.
The communities they serve range from small rural settlements to large towns, and their budgets vary accordingly. However, what they all have in common is serving their communities and acting to improve the quality of life in their locality. This is achieved through exercising a range of statutory powers and duties. An independent research study by Aberystwyth University identified eight key benefits of community councils:
See www.onevoicewales.org for a more detailed explanation.
Community and town councils are responsible to their local electorates for delivering a wide range of services and for the provision and upkeep of local amenities. Each council is made up of elected members, or in some cases co-opted members. In Wales there are approximately 8000 community and town councillors, who represent the interests of the community as a whole. They are recognised as having a role in providing the voice of the citizen in the development and delivery of public services.
The Christian Party is calling for the re-establishment of town and community councils as we believe it is a more cost-effective way to deliver local services to local people. We believe that every area in Wales should not only be represented by the Welsh Assembly and a City or County Council, but also by a town or community council that will take on the responsibility of the issues that affect that community on a local level. ‘With the severe budget deficits, for example £40million for Powys alone, it will be the town and community councils who will drive forward initiatives on the ground, that will have a direct and immediate benefit to local residents’ says Councillor Jeff Green.
Councillor Green initiated a residents' survey to find out what the people of Llandrindod Wells wanted and who should deliver it. 70% of local residents mentioned the Town Council as being the preferred option to deliver the projects and initiatives for their town. One Voice Wales has taken this up and recommend all local councils to do the same for their residents. This is a good example of how practical ideas at local level can be adopted quickly and easily nationwide.
ISLAMIC FINANCE AT ODDS WITH BRITISH BANKING SYSTEM
9 NOVEMBER 2013
Last week, Roger Williams, MP Brecon & Radnoshire chairman of the all-party group on Islamic finance and diversity in financial markets, welcomed the Government’s decision to issue a sukuk. It is something the group has campaigned on. He also congratulated the Government on their part in hosting the World Islamic Economic Forum in this country, the first time it has been held in a non-Muslim country. He presses to know what else are the Government doing to promote Islamic investment in this country and sustain the Islamic banking sector? What is the world is a sukuk, and why is Britain hosting such an event ?
Sukuks are financial certificates that comply with principles of Sharia law which prohibits the charging or paying of interest.
This is the first time that the World Islamic Economic Forum has been held in London, with attendees including Afghan president Hamid Karzai, King Abdullah of Jordan and Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans for Britain to become the first non-Muslim country to issue an Islamic bond in a bid to make London one “of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world”. Speaking at the World Islamic Economic Forum, Mr Cameron said that plans were underway to issue an Islamic bond or ‘Sukuk’ worth £200m to encourage greater Islamic investment into the City
Mr Cameron told the audience: "I don't just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."
But Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said: “This is terribly short sighted. Sharia finance is part of a wider system of Islamic law, a system which benefits Muslims over non-Muslims. “It is well known that Sharia law contains some fundamental inequalities, one of which is that between Muslims and non-Muslims. “The Prime Minister needs to encourage investments which benefit all people, not just those of one religious group. “He seems to be completely unaware that welcoming this kind of investment will give Sharia law a foothold in the UK.”
Social commentator Melanie Phillips also commented: “… this money comes with a price. And that price is Britain’s identity as a western country.
“For ‘sharia-compliance’ is not like, say, compliance with health and safety rules. Sharia is the Islamic system of jurisprudence which does not acknowledge any legal authority other than itself and demands adherence to its own precepts.”
Bishop Nazir Ali added: “Before we take these steps that could have unforeseen consequences we do need greater public discussion, greater explanation of what actually is being done and what it is we are letting ourselves in for.” Public discussion – there’s not even public information being released.
Leader of the Christian Party, Jeff Green adds his voice of concern saying ‘Surely we must all be asking ourselves why would we embrace Sharia finance when we do not know the first thing about it and we know only a little about the dominance of Sharia Law in Muslim countries. What we do know about Sharia Law though is enough for us to reject it in all it’s forms.
Surely anyone can see the far reaching implications of introducing an Islamic finance system and the effect it will have on our country when we have seen the implications over the last five years of the collapse of the banking sector. It will effect all of us and almost all of us have no idea what we are getting into. It is totally alien to our finance system and it appears that either knowledgably or unwittingly, Cameron is letting it get a foothold in our country under the guise under perceptably legitimate means.
Christians working together to bring Christian concern, goodwill and action into the community, education, business and politics.
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He quoted Abraham Lincoln: "Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord", and George Washington's words on 30/4/1789: "The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained."RSS Feed
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