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The Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, commonly known as ELREC, is a Scottish non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Edinburgh, UK which focuses on promoting equality and tackling discrimination in the community. Until December 2010, it was known as the Edinburgh and Lothians Racial Equality Council, and has now broadened its scope to become a pan-equalities regional council focusing on the nine protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010. ELREC is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator with the charity number SC007896, and as a charitable company registered as number SC183419 with Companies House.
ELREC was founded in 1971 as Lothian Race Equality. It was subsequently renamed, firstly as the Lothians Racial Equality Council and then as the Edinburgh and Lothians Racial Equality Council, until finally becoming the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council in December 2010. The organisation's current title reflects it transition from a racial equality council to one which now tackles a wide range of equalities and discrimination issues, with specific focus on the nine protected characteristics enshrined in the Equality Act 2010:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
The primary objectives of ELREC are:
- to work towards the elimination of discrimination in all its forms
- to reduce inequality and promote a culture of human rights
- to promote good relations between persons of protected characteristics without distinction on grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, age and creed; and
- to promote and organize cooperation in the achievement of the aforesaid purposes, and to that end
- to bring together in ELREC representatives of the statutory authorities and voluntary organizations engaged in the furtherance of the aforesaid purposes within the Local Authority Council areas of the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian
Projects and Services
ELREC has developed and currently offers a range of services to meet the needs of a variety of individuals and communities:
- Support and Advice Service
- Policy Development
- Young People Against Hate
- Third Party Reporting
- Equalities Engagement
- True Colours
- Direct Approach
ELREC conducted a Equality Election Manifesto Meeting in Edinburgh which was attended by Cllr Andrew Burns, Leader of Labour Party, Cllr Jeremy Balfour, Leader of Conservative Party, Cllr Phil Wheeler, Liberal Democrat Party and Cllr Norman Work, Scottish National Party.
A follow up Equality Election Manifesto Meeting was held on 19 March 2012.
More recent meetings of ELREC include:
- Africa Day Celebrations 2012 on 26 May 2012 that was addressed by Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Sarah Boyack MSP, Colin Keir MSP and Mark Lazarowicz MP.
- South West Edinburgh Community Engagement Event at Tynecastle High School on 29 May 2012
- Consultation Meeting to discuss immigration raids with UKBA on 31 May 2012 at the Scottish Parliament that was chaired by Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scottish Government
- Consultation to discuss Police Reforms was held on 4 October 2012. Opening speeches were made by Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scottish Government and Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Allen
- ELREC's 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 14 November 2012 in Haddington, East Lothian. Key speakers at the AGM included Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Scottish Government and Chief Constable David Strang QPM, Lothian and Borders Police.
- Equality Agenda Meeting on 29 November 2012. Leaders of all political parties represented in The City of Edinburgh Council participated as Panel Members. Scottish Labour Party - Cllr Andrew Burns - Council Leader, Scottish National Party - Cllr Steve Cardownie - Party leader, Scottish Green Party - Cllr Steve Burgess - Party Leader, Scottish Liberal Democrat - Cllr Paul Edie - Party Leader and Scottish Conservative Party - Cllr Joanna Mowat - Party Representative.
- West Lothian Community Engagement Event at Civic Centre, Livinsgton, West Lothian on 19 January 2013.
- Turbanology Event at City Chambers on 27 March 2013 held in partnership with the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association and Sikh Sanjog with the support of The City of Edinburgh Council
- Africa Day 2013 Celebrations with the twin themes African Union @ 50 & Exploring the voice of the African Diaspora Child on Saturday 25 May 2013. The event was held at Craigroyston Community High School, Edinburgh. Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice delivered the opening address and other speakers included Colin Keir MSP, Mark Lazarowicz MP, Cllr Maureen Child, Convener of Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee, The City of Edinburgh Council and former the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Lesley Hinds.
ELREC's website is continuously updated with upcoming events throughout the year, and can be accessed here: www.elrec.org.uk/events.htm
ELREC receives funding from:
- The City of Edinburgh Council
- Police Service of Scotland/Police Scotland ( E Division and J Division )
- The Scottish Government
ELREC was awarded EFQM's Committed to Excellence Accreditation by Quality Scotland on 9 May 2013.
ELREC produces an equality newsletter every quarter. The newsletters are produced in January, April, July and October each year.
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt Hon Donald Wilson is the Patron of ELREC.
Professor Geoff Palmer Dsc OBE serves as the Honorary President of ELREC.
Chair: Foysol Hussain Choudhury MBE.
Vice Chair: Mr Ehtisham (Shami) Ullah Khan
Company Secretary: Mr Mohamed Amjad Chaudhry
Treasurer: Dr John Christopher Wigglesworth
Staff and Volunteers
Manager: Monalisa Adhikari was appointed as Manager of ELREC from June 2013, succeeding Arun Gopinath upon his departure from ELREC on 31 May 2013. The Manager is supported by a team of 6 staff members, alongside several volunteers who bring a variety of skills:
Administrator: Antonia Gianniou
Youth Development Officer: Victoria Anderson
Equalities Engagement Officer: Mizan Rahman
Support and Advice Sessional Worker: Jacqueline McWilliams
Cleaner: Suda Mitchell
Current Volunteers: Rebecca Jordan, Ernie Brewster, Natalie Louise Smith, Joanna Wyllie, Benozir Shah, Kelly Wade, Robin Sukatorn, Louise Crichton, Neil Angus Dinnes Ogilvy, Jean-Matthieu Gaunand, Lorna Frost, Sophie Gunn, Mohana Natarajan.
ELREC is a founding member of the Scottish Alliance of Regional Equality Councils. Other members of SAREC include Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC), Grampian Regional Equality Council (GREC) and West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC).
- SC007896. OSCR Charity Register. Retrieved 25 December 2011.