Bristol

Bristol Legacy Commission awarded £130,000

Bristol City Council building
Image caption The council says it needs to make £70m of cuts over the next four years

An organisation which supports black and ethnic minority people in Bristol has been awarded £130,000 by the city council.

Three years of funding for the Legacy Commission was originally supposed to end in March.

Council leader Barbara Janke has now confirmed funding will be provided for another year.

The authority said the possibility of the commission becoming an external organisation will be explored.

The Legacy Commission was set up in June 2008 to oversee initiatives to tackle inequalities in education, health and cultural representation among African-Caribbean, Asian and African communities.

'Financial restraints'

It grew out of the 2007 commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.

The three-year project had a budget of £250,000 a year from the Liberal Democrat-run council and attracted more than £1.5m in match funding.

The council says it needs to make £70m of cuts over the next four years.

Ms Janke said: "The chair and vice chair of the commission have been very realistic about the financial restraints the council is facing, and are in agreement that the budget for the next year is a sensible way of maintaining the priority work of the commission within the city.

"All parties recognise this is a transition year - we need to look what areas of their work can be picked up by mainstream council services, at the same time as exploring a new role for the commission in the long-term as an external community organisation."

The council's Conservative group called for plans for a Legacy Commission to commemorate the passing of the slave trade to be scrapped before it was set up.

In 2009, a race row erupted when councillor Shirley Brown called an Asian colleague a "coconut" at a council debate.

Mrs Brown made the comment in response to a proposal by Conservative Jay Jethwa to cut funding for the Legacy Commission.

Mrs Brown was found guilty of racial harassment and is appealing against the conviction.

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