The future of our organisation was discussed and formed a specific agenda item at our Annual General Meeting, which took place at the Memon Association on 3 November 2019, Chaired by Brother Sikander Sattar. For those of you that attended you will be well aware of the various challenges and issues that were raised about our organisation and the decisions that we have taken. For those that did not attend, it is important that we convey to you the position relating to our organisation and the way forward.
Under agenda item number 9, Br Suleman Nagdi on behalf of the board set out the key decisions taken by the MBCOL board in respect of the funding stream and securing the future of our organisation through partnering with an external separate company under the name of Mortia Ltd. This company would use MBCOL as its preferred supplier of “out of hours” service. We took questions from the floor and answered all the matters that were raised at the time.
We would state that we welcome input from all those individuals and organisations that are affiliated to us and we thoroughly welcomed the opportunity of putting forward the truth of matters and the explanation of factors and issues behind the critical decisions that we had made. Given the opportunity of addressing all our affiliates, we set out in full the background in relation to the general difficulties in funding being secured by faith-based organisations. There has been much discussion and debate in relation to faith groups receiving funding and it has created various difficulties and challenges between the various diverse faith and non-faith groups in our city. It was against this backdrop and in the light of securing the future of our organisation that a separate company was formed and full details were delivered to the affiliates in our verbal report.
It was exceptionally heartening and pleasing to note that all those that attended wholeheartedly understood the obstacles and hurdles that need to be overcome and the method and mechanisms by which such obstacles are circumvented. We enjoyed full and total support from the floor at the meeting and no one had dissented on the issues that have been explained.
It was also notified that in the tender process, another Muslim organisation had put in a competing bid and they had put in a legal challenge to the successful bid that we had secured via Mortia Ltd. There was clear messages coming from the floor that the competing Muslim organisation should withdraw its objection to allow Mortia Ltd (and MBCOL) to secure the tender. Despite repeated requests to identify this competing organisation we have respected fully our duty of confidentiality. The report that we gave was not based on any assumption or supposition, it was based on hard evidence and documentary records that had been disclosed to us which was held up during our verbal report to the affiliates.
Following the closure we have learned that eight organisations expressed an interest and only three organisations actually applied. The bid put in by Mortia Ltd was the only bid that was submitted on the basis that there would be a partnering arrangement with MBCOL Ltd and thereby secure its funding and future existence in delivering this service. All other bidders were going to keep the work for themselves if they were successful.
The floor at the Annual General Meeting also clearly expressed a sentiment that it was saddening that Muslim organisations would want to compete with us in this fashion and would want to place obstacles in delivering the vital and important out of hour’s funeral services that we have provided for decades. This is what we are good at and this is what we have done for a long time and we do not seek to trespass on anyone else’s service functions within the Muslim community. The sum of money involved is relatively minimal as was explained at the meeting. It is also of some significance that it is only when the tender from the Leicester City Council is placed that we get such resistance and oppositions from people within our own community.
It is very saddening and indeed disappointing that we are still getting some negative comment being circulated around the community through social media.
Please be clear that as far as we are concerned, there is no cause for concern or indeed any impropriety of any suggestion that are being made and for the avoidance of doubt any allegations or suggestions, made directly or by implication that there has been any wrongdoing or any improper conduct is completely denied.
We are prepared to defend any allegation that is made against us. If you have concerns that you would require to be addressed we are more than happy to discuss this with you and if you wish to take up our open invitation, all you need to do is to contact our office and we will happily accommodate.
We therefore trust that all of you will have due regard to the matters set out in this communication and have regard to the matters that were discussed and raised at our Annual General Meeting. We hope and pray that we continue to support one another in developing our services to our community and ensuring that we maintain the continuity of service that we have provided to our community. We ask that you join with us in praying that Allah grant us all the strength and wisdom to continue with our work in the face of the adversities that we have to endure.
Board of MBCOL