‘Labour’s hand-out to gays slammed’ Part 1


‘A Labour-run council was attacked last night for axing funds to needy scouts – while quadrupling a handout to a gay group. Bristol North-west Tory MP Michael Stern accused a city council of pandering to “naked political prejudice” in making their decision. They recommended a £5,312 grant to Freedom, a support group for young gays, lesbians, bisexuals and “those unsure of their sexuality”. Last year the group got £1,167. The decision still has to be approved by the full council. Meanwhile Labour slashed funding to scout, boys brigade and guide groups in the city from £3,879 to £400 as part of £469,000 funding for youth organisations. Freedom, based in city centre Old Market, hit the headlines last year when it scooped a National Lottery grant of £160,000 for its work on supporting young people by giving them an opportunity to meet, by organising workshops and giving health advice. Michael Roe, prospective parliamentary candidate for Bristol South, said: “If anyone needed an example that Old Labour is alive and kicking, then this is it. “To make a decision that excludes a particular type of organisation because it does not meet with your politically-correct ideal is outrageous. “Scouts and guide groups are open to all and offer a real alternative to young people. By contrast, the Freedom group is attempting to give respectability to a way of life most people would not wish to support.” But Berkeley Davies, a member of Freedom’s management committee, said: “This is completely outrageous homophobia from a former councillor. “The scouts get a lot of support from the public and from private individuals. How many scouts are there in Bristol? There are thousands. But there is only one youth group offering our kind of service.”