The Cabinet is the Council’s Executive. The Cabinet decide the Authority’s policy. I attended the meeting last night because of two particular agenda items relating to Park Ward.
The first was about the Green Road Mosque. This has been an ongoing issue for many years. I have been working hard pushing for more transparency in the agreement. I welcomed the Cabinet’s work to bring about this long and much-needed purpose-built Mosque for Reading. However I stated that it is crucial that the wider community is kept onside, that building works (assuming planning permission is granted) are done considerately and that there is plenty of parking on site; and I pledged to help broker this.
I asked for a further clause to be added to the recommended action outlined in the report. I asked that democratic and transparent elections are held as soon as possible in the next 12 months in accordance with the constitution. I said that I believe all Muslims who regularly worship in the town’s Mosques should be allowed to participate. This, I said, would enable Reading’s Muslim community to fully get behind and support the Trustees to realise Green Road Mosque being open for worship within 5 years.
As a result of my lobbying before the Cabinet meeting and letters from other parties, the following two conditions were added by officers:
- written evidence is provided to the Council that the Trustees have gained authority to purchase the Freehold in the sum of £150,000 in accordance with the constitution of the Jamme Masjid Charitable Trust
- written evidence is provided to the Council that the Trustees have enlarged the Management Committee to 13 members in accordance with the constitution and that the Management Committee Members have been elected
The Cabinet agreed the report with the two added conditions as stated above.