Jewish representatives in London and Manchester have said they are “troubled” by the “dismissive attitude” of the leader of Lancashire County Council following its recent decision to ban non-mechanically stunned meat from schools.
Geoff Driver, 72, met a delegation from the Board of Deputies, Shechita UK and the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester this week to discuss the move, which has led to disquiet among both Jewish and Muslim communities.
It follows a council vote in late October to ban schools from serving non-stunned meat, with Driver describing it as “abhorrent” and “cruel”. Lancashire currently supplies 27 schools with non-stunned meat, mostly halal, catering for 12,000 children who are served 1.2 million meals every year.
Following the meeting, Board vice-president Marie van der Zyl said Driver “refused to see the danger of his assertion that Jewish and Muslim councillors could not be objective because of their faiths”.
She said Driver “also stood by polarising and divisive language that can only harm community relations,” and that she would “continue to work with colleagues to protect our community’s rights”.
She added: “Our elected representatives should be taking a lead on how to treat others with respect. Councillor Driver has failed to do that on this occasion.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.