Newham council subsequently confirmed that it took the that the decision to remove the community language papers in April 2011 because it believes their provision created a barrier to residents learning English and integrating fully into the community.
To challenge this, the campaign launched a petition and following an initial meeting it managed to secure the endorsement of 12 local community groups.
The campaign’s supporters agreed that:
- The decision should be challenged as there had been no consultation around the impact this would have on the community
- The assumption reading language papers created a barrier to learning or speaking English was discriminatory and flawed
- The assumption around accessing language provision at libraries prevents resident from integrating and participating in their community.
It was decided that the best way forward was to launch a petition to capture theses concerns and ensure that residents had a process to challenge the decision.
The aim of the petition is to:
- Reinstate community-language newspapers in Newham’s libraries.
- Prioritise funding and further resources to provision of English as a Second Language (ESOL).
- To commit to the continued provision of community-language books and audio books in Newham’s libraries.
- To recognise and celebrate the unique diversity of the London Borough of Newham including recognition of the languages and cultures of its individual communities.
The paper petition can be downloaded from:
Or you can sign online at: