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ICT SALFORD CHARITY EMPLOYS THREE BOUNCERS TO STOP ONE WHISTLEBLOWER AT AGM
 

Star date: 3rd February 2017

INSPIRING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER TRIES TO STOP GAG PROTESTER FROM SPEAKING

Salford charity Inspiring Communities Together, which receives £90,000 of public money annually, employed three bouncers for the door of its AGM on Wednesday night to try to stop Lower Kersal and Charlestown community activist Graham Cooper from entering its Annual General Meeting.

Graham Cooper and local councillors have made a string of allegations about the charity which they aimed to repeat at the meeting, while Graham protested outside the organisation's offices last week arguing he'd been gagged.

Full details here...


ICT AGM Inspiring Communities Together ICT Gagging Protest
Inspiring Communities Together
click image to enlarge

Controversial charity, Inspiring Communities Together (ICT), which receives £90,000 of public money annually, employed three bouncers in an attempt to stop one whistleblower from attending its Annual General Meeting held at Salford Innovation Forum on Wednesday night.

Local Charlestown and Lower Kersal youth worker and community activist, Graham Cooper, became a whistleblower about the charity's activities, telling the Salford Star in December "It's about transparency, decision making and this organisation's involvement with the community. There should be an independent investigation and that hasn't occurred." (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

He had intended to detail the allegations to the charity's members at the AGM but found that his membership was to be struck off as ICT decided that he didn't live or work in the Charlestown and Lower Kersal area. Last week Graham mounted a protest outside the offices of the charity, complete with a gag, issuing a handout to passers by reading:

"I am protesting to highlight the abuse of power and public funds. I blew the whistle on irregularities in the conduct of the charity, Inspiring Communities Together, referring to two individuals.

"The complaint was `investigated' by the very people I complained about" it added "Those who complain are gagged and driven out of the organisation..." (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

On the night of the AGM, Graham turned up accompanied by local Councillor Jane Hamilton, arguing that while he was appealing against the charity cancelling his membership he was still legally a member and entitled to attend the meeting. He was met by the three bouncers only to be told that he `wasn't on the list' and wouldn't be allowed in.

"The fact that three of you have been employed to stop one member coming to a legitimate meeting for which I am a member is an absolute disgrace" Graham can be heard saying on a video which he's posted on Facebook.

Another video shows a discussion between Graham, the ICT CEO, Bernadette Elder,  and ICT Chair, Ray Walker, where Walker can be heard saying "Getting security to stop Graham Cooper coming in wasn't what was recommended – I don't think this will go down very well..."

One of Inspiring Communities' main themes is `Strengthening Local Voices'...

After some negotiation it was agreed that, with Graham's appeal against membership disqualification still pending, he was legally entitled to attend the AGM, the bouncers were stood down and he spoke at the meeting raising his concerns to the members.

Speaking at the meeting was Councillor Stephen Ord who also raised his concerns about the charity's activities and governance. He had previously called the ICT CEO and its former Chair "power grabbing control freaks" acting "out of greed...and self interest on a number of occasions"...

Disgruntled residents continue to call for an independent inquiry into the antics of Inspiring Communities Together...


* See also related Salford Star article - East Salford Community Demands Answers From Salford Council on Controversial Charity - click here


wrote
at 2:01:04 AM on Friday, February 10, 2017
This is about governance of ICT,but understand the community's concerns on the issue of certain named people and their massive Pensions.
 
Lr Broughon Resident wrote
at 10:50:07 AM on Wednesday, February 8, 2017
As AMP and the previous paid "work" she has been doing since the days of NDC is under suspicion perhaps now is the time to step down from role of local representative on the Board at Salford Royal Hospital. The Community has lost all trust and faith in her to be able to represent them. There are rumours AMP and BE are eligible for Council pensions. Could this be true one wonders?
 
Take Away MBE wrote
at 11:32:19 PM on Tuesday, February 7, 2017
AMP should be stripped of the MBE and removed from ICT the sooner the better. BE needs to be removed as soon as possible.
 
Sheila Devenshire wrote
at 12:59:41 PM on Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Sadly I have to agree with Amanda Bickerton Chair of East Salford Community Committee. Bouncers on the door of the AGM meeting say's everything and questions should be asked now. It is disappointing that the actions of a few people may tarnish the charity sectors reputations especially those working in partnership. For the sake of our local charities and the employees of ICT the CEO and former Chair should do the only right and decent thing and step down.
 
wrote wrote
at 6:37:20 AM on Tuesday, February 7, 2017
How many years was Graham Copper working with these people before he suddenly realized that they were a bit dodgy? How many other things did he sign without reading?
 
wrote
at 3:02:41 PM on Monday, February 6, 2017
Graham Cooper well said and always 100% supporting what's best for the community.
 
Salford lad wrote
at 3:02:00 PM on Monday, February 6, 2017
What's this nonsense "all the community is behind you Graham" well they are not because you do not speak for me. Also since when has the expression of opinion been trolling! Sometimes the truth hurts Graham you should take constructive criticism. Don't forget it was you who signe the agreement!
 
Support Graham 100% wrote
at 1:33:13 AM on Monday, February 6, 2017
Well said Graham Cooper, The whole community is behind you. We admire your actions for seeking justice for our community. I think BE and AMP have finally come across a person who they cannot manipulat or fool with their fairy stories and lies. Great community work Graham and don't let the two beat you as they are trying so hard to do. Get the truth out Graham for all our community please don't give up and let them carry on fooling and conning our community and most of all disrespecting you. And thanks Salford Star for telling us the truth, please keep us up to date on the devious actions of the CEO and former chair as our whole community are hoping and waiting for justice for these two con artists. Well done Graham !!!!!!
 
Steve Thomas wrote
at 1:31:05 AM on Monday, February 6, 2017
Well Salford Lad you have no idea of what is going on in our community. Graham Cooper is 100% behind our community and fights for justice against corrupt, bulling, manipulating, power seeking things that call themselves a charity in Charlestown. Thank you Graham and keep up your good work for our community.
 
Graham Cooper wrote
at 9:15:52 AM on Sunday, February 5, 2017
This whole debacle has built up around the governance and not the staff who deliver the activities. The inner workings of this organisation is what is being challenged, and with this comes responsibilities to its members. What would "Salford Lad" rather do bury our heads in the sand? keep quiet hope it will all go away? Brush it under the carpet like so many other scandals. I am not self appointed rather just a member of this organisation who sees injustice to the people who it aims to serve. With that role comes a responsibility to protect the interest of the communities whose legacy is the 90K funding, not sit back and watch peoples areas fall in to disarray, no lights, parks rubbish strewn streets and no one "partner responsible". Its up to all of us to highlight such concerns and on my watch I will not be silenced. There has been far too much of such shite in Salford's past history so "Salford Lad" continue with your "Trolling" Me Ill carry on challenging those who claim to represent communities and at same time seek to serve their own self interest
 
Paula Brice wrote
at 11:03:48 PM on Friday, February 3, 2017
Yes Amanda the local charities are being tarnished and the sector's reputation tarnished. The actions of ICT could have a very adverse effect on their partnership working and this is very sad. SCC an independent enquiry needs to happen soon for the wellbeing of all charities.
 
wrote
at 11:03:37 PM on Friday, February 3, 2017
I agree with Amanda Bickerton, Questions need to be asked yet the community have been asking questions for years with no answers from SCC or ICT. The East Salord community committee members demanded an investigation at the last meeting so SCC should act on this. As for making people welcome at the AGM only certain people were allowed in. Have you ever heard of a charity needing four bouncers on the door. Just what are they scared of maybe the truth coming out about the terrible actions of this group especially those two.
 
Amanda Bickerton wrote
at 2:17:37 PM on Friday, February 3, 2017
When a charity feels the need to have 'security' at its AGM, then questions must be asked. What are they trying to hide? Do they think it is OK to have hulking guys looking menacing at a meeting? I am involved in charities, and I do not know any that would do this. If you behave properly as a charity, you don't need bouncers because you make your community welcome. It is hard enough for local charities as it is without the sector's reputation being tarnished by behaviour like this.
 
Watch out, watch out ,bouncers are about wrote
at 9:05:14 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
What a disgrace by ICT to stop Graham Cooper attending a meeting, What's going on .!.......President Trump,The Queen and even Jeremy Kyle don't get that many Bodyguards, this obviously this has been paid for out of The pot of money that should be ploughed back into the community but was spent on Curly.Larry & Mo and ordered by the CEO. This tells you that ICT ARE Not working with the community but against them, Hang your heads in shame. If you live in Charlestown Or Lower Kersal and you walk into the innovation forum You may be ejected from the building by curly Larry and mo, we are the community and we are the ones who inspire the community .
 
Salford lad wrote
at 9:05:07 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
Whilst this incident may have been mishandled one has to agree that the omnipresent self publicist Graham Cooper is a self appointed voice of residents. He was quite happy when things were going his way!
 
It is getting worse wrote
at 4:48:27 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
Having read about this since the Salford star started to report on it, it seems that it is getting dirtier and dirtier. This does not look good on the ICT or the people concerned. It is looking more and more like they are trying to repress information and freedom of speech so they can carry in their jobs and milking the money. These sort of tactics are what you would expect from some 3rd world dictator.
 
wrote
at 3:10:52 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
A community organisation working with the community but it seems we are in a nightclub bouncers saying you have to behave!!! This clearly shows this organisation has to be hiding something
 
jj wrote
at 2:08:53 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
How much did the Security cost to Hire? Incredible miss use of funding, surely this is a clear message that this is now defunct and in fact damaging Salford's reputation by association.
 
rotten wrote
at 2:08:45 AM on Friday, February 3, 2017
Very different from the last Mayor making democracy a ticket only event. What happened to that RAT? Oh the bouncers are breaking rules. ALL SIA licensed staff must have their ID cards on display at all times.
 
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