Special General Meeting with local community was held at Masjid-e-Ali on 27th May 2012 to review the mishandling by Luton Borough Council of the sale of Drill Hall. Following is the summary of the meeting:
September 2010 when Luton Shia community decided to bid for the new building Drill Hall. A perfect and biggest ever project for our community, Huge complex with scope to turn into revenue generated community centre to accommodate most needs of present and future. Extensive efforts went in, to achieve the target money £1.5 Million. The entire community worked day and night on this project like a family. With the help of Donations and Qarz e Hasana we reached our target and were about to exchange contracts when council suspended the sale of the drill hall due to pressure from an extremist white supremacist organisation.
Reason given to us and media was that it had to review its asset disposal strategy after new policy guidance from Whitehall. Masjid-e-Ali Executive Committee formed a team of experts to fight for the case, December 2011 when council announced that members of the councils executive decided that the site should be used for housing. In the press release council again made another mendacious statement and said it will take all reasonable steps to help the Masjid-e-Ali currently based in Moor Street, find alternative sites, In last 6 months we saw a very little evidence of support from the council.
The lesson we have learned from dealing with the council is that there no such thing called Help when it comes to MasjideAli. Even racist groups can dictate and influence Luton Borough council. Due to extremely difficult conditions in our current building we are left with no option but to make a decision about our future.
A special general meeting was called by the executive committee and trustees on 27th May 2012 to present all finding to the community and decide most viable option. With a majority of 80% votes, it was agreed to demolish current building (12 Moor Street) and rebuild this site. We have started project planning straight away, regular updates will be published on our website.
During this campaign we were overwhelmed by the support from not only muslims but also support from our non muslim friends, we sincerely thank you for your moral and financial support.
All though it appears that we have lost a building, in actual fact its a victory of a campaign which has exposed failures of the council, when it comes to minorities even racist groups can dictate their terms and influence council's decision makers. Masjid e Ali showed determination and passion, stood by its principles to stand against racism and support Luton in harmony.
From the press releases below it is evident that once again council failed to deliver...
Published on Wednesday 4 January 2012
Published on Saturday 31 December 2011
Published on Thursday 22 December 2011
Drill Hall no longer for sale
Published on Tuesday 13 September 2011
The board found the lack of communication between the deputy leader of the council, Robin Harris, who was in charge of the sale of the Drill Hall
Published on Wednesday 31 August 2011
Committee reveals Drill Hall findings
Published on Friday 12 August 2011
The decision to sell the site to the Masjid e Ali group proved to a controversial one when it came to public attention following a campaign by House the People, who said the land should be retained for affordable housing.
Published on Wednesday 3 August 2011
A MUSLIM group that planned to buy the Drill Hall site in High Town say they are still hopeful of completing the purchase, despite the sale being suspended.
Published on 27/03/2011
A council has issued an apology over the way it handled the disposal of a disused community centre
Published on Wednesday 2 March 2011
Shia organisation Masjid-e-ali, currently based in Moor Street, has posted plans for a new community centre which they say would be open to all faiths on their website.