BNP Councillor Threatens Citizens Advice Bureau with Demonstration after Politically-Motivated Victimisation
A British National Party Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Councillor, Martyn Findley, is considering holding a demonstration outside the local Citizens Advice Bureau after that taxpayer-funded body engaged in blatant politically-motivated discrimination against him.
Cllr Martyn Findley said he would hold the demonstration if the district manager of the Bedworth, Rugby and Nuneaton Citizens Advice Bureau (branCAB) refused to let him offer his services as a volunteer at the bureau.
“The reason the director, David Gooding, gave was simply that I was a BNP councillor,” Cllr Findley said.
“This was outrageous as I have a long history of community involvement. I enjoyed my time as a school governor, for example, as much as I did my voluntary activities on occasion with the church.
“As an activist with the local residents association, I assisted in organising a family festival and was prepared to spend evenings burning the midnight oil filling in applications for funding,” he said.
The drama started when earlier this year, Cllr Findley responded to an advertisement in the local newspaper placed by branCAB which asked for volunteers.
“Encouraged by the knowledge that the CAB has previously never discriminated against anyone, I called and spoke to a lady about volunteering,” he continued.
“After I shared with her my volunteering experience she assured me that with my availability and experience, I sounded ideal and would be contacted as soon as possible. This happened and I passed the telephone stage successfully.
“I waited and when my written invitation to the induction day came through the post I was delighted,” Cllr Findley said.
Instead of welcoming his services, the letter from Mr Gooding informed Cllr Findley that the branCAB would not accept his offer because of his membership of the BNP.
Bizarrely, the letter went on to confirm that branCAB staff, trustees and volunteers may be active members of political parties, providing that they keep their political work completely separate from their CAB work.
“I cannot for the life of me see any conflict between being an elected member, under any party banner, and volunteering with the CAB, and there is certainly no prospect for political work,” Cllr Findley said.
However, the next paragraph contained the clause to which he took exception: ‘Active membership includes promoting being publicly associated with, or expressing the views of organisations such as the BNP,’ the letter said.
“Is there a list of organisations which the CAB discriminates against? Who wrote it and which organisations are on it? Exactly which law do they think gives branCAB the authority to discriminate against a member of a lawfully constituted political party?” Cllr Findley said.
“It is even more shocking when compared back to an earlier section of the same letter where the branCAB specifically forbids discriminatory policies or practices.
“As I am prepared to state publicly that my heart is open to all and that as an extension to my duties as a democratically elected councillor I am prepared to work for nothing for the benefit of the whole community, I believe that I am suitable to volunteer with the CAB.
“If there are any volunteers, staff members or funders out there who wish to discriminate against me on the grounds of political belief I think it is they, not I, who should have their motives questioned,” Cllr Findley said.
“I feel that I must fight this discrimination and I am calling upon members and supporters of the British National Party for their assistance. I would be grateful if you could take a few minutes and politely outline your objection to this discrimination to Mr Gooding as I feel that public pressure is the best way of getting this disgraceful decision overturned.”
Mr Gooding’s email address is david.gooding @ brancab.org.uk. Why don’t readers send him a polite email asking why he does not want Cllr Findley’s kind offer of help.
“The branCAB is funded by the Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Rugby Borough Council,” Cllr Findley continued.
“At the next full council meetings of the two councils I shall ask publicly, locally as an elected member and in Rugby as a member of the public, for the leaders of the councils to assist me with my struggle against discrimination in an organisation over which they share a great deal of influence.
“This will place on public record their position for/against institutional discrimination. As far as I am aware at the moment this is the limit of my redress to this voluntary organisation.
“If our appeals fall on deaf ears I consider that I shall have no alternative other than to organise a demonstration against discrimination on the footpath outside of the main CAB offices in Bedworth. I should imagine that having the British National Party holding a demonstration against discrimination outside the offices of the CAB would be the last thing that they would want, but the choice is theirs,” Cllr Findley concluded.