Thursday 22 August 2013

Unison statement; Carmarthenshire Council and the Towy Community Church

Followers of this blog will be aware of my lengthy and ongoing Freedom of Information battle to require Carmarthenshire Council to disclose correspondence and meeting notes concerning their involvement with the Towy Community Church and the Xcel bowling alley.

In support of the disclosure of further information to enable greater public scrutiny of the 'partnership', the Carmarthen branch of Unison have made a statement;

Unison Carmarthenshire Position on Towy Community Church 
Unison Carmarthenshire is deeply concerned at the scarcity of information surrounding Carmarthenshire County Council’s funding of Towy Community Church; a concern that is only deepened by Towy Community Church’s links to the evangelical Mercy Ministries who harbour extreme views on ‘lifestyle’ issues such as homosexuality and have been accused of attempting exorcisms on people with such ‘life controlling issues’. 
Towy Community Church has stated that Mercy Ministries work was “important” and that their “vision” was to open a Mercy Ministries in Carmarthen. Towy Community Church’s links to Mercy Ministries were severed when serious questions were raised as to the wisdom giving public funds to a church with extremist partners. After the grand opening of its Bowling Alley in Johnstown, made possible only through significant amounts of council funds and land, it seems that they have reforged these links with Mercy Ministries leading to further questions about the motives of Towy Community Church and the judgement of Carmarthenshire County Council in supporting this project. The most pertinent of which is did Towy Community Church remove its links to Mercy Ministries as a PR exercise in order to stave off unwanted attention? 
As a public body, we believe that Carmarthenshire County Council has a duty to promote equality and diversity whilst ensuring that partner organisations have the same commitment. In entering into partnership with Towy Community Church without seeking or receiving assurances on their views on areas such as homosexuality, Carmarthenshire County Council has become tarnished by association and could be accused of tacitly condoning extremist views. 
Unison Carmarthenshire Branch
August 2013

My FoI request thread can be seen here.

There are several recent posts concerning the Council and the Towy Community Church including 'Mercy Ministry coming to Carmarthen'.

Previous comment from Unison Carmarthenshire; April 2012 BBC Wales Dragon's Eye programme; Towy Community Church: Unison and politicians' funding concern


Anonymous said...

Excellent statement from Unison - sums up everything I, and many others, would want to say. The report about Eric Pickles is also extremely interesting - he's obviously not happy about the way Carmarthenshire County Council operates - but then, who is?

Anonymous said...

Good statement from Unison but they also need to remind CCC that as Corporate Parents they have a statutory, legal and moral duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked after children.

"Mercy Ministries was born out of Nancy’s frustration of working within the State’s social services where she witnessed the inability to bring true change in hurting people’s lives ... Nancy was convicted that God was the only one that could bring healing and restoration to lives ... The first Mercy Ministries home in Monroe, Louisiana was birthed; it offered free accommodation, enabling the team to take the girls out of their situations and into a Godly, safe, secure and beautiful home."

"The increasingly lopsided family and community budgets are set to be damaged further, as Carmarthenshire council leader Kevin Madge has made plain, with reference to cuts of biblical proportions ... Cue the return of Mercy Ministries, the evangelical Christian US-born campaign to provide residential homes for women aged 16-28 with ‘life controlling issues’ including unplanned pregnancies, eating disorders and depression