The equality committee on Calderdale council in Lancashire has rejected a plan to ban the burka and face-covering veils among council workers.
But councillors on the equality and community cohesion committee admitted the current dress code, which stresses that "employees must be properly dressed so services can be delivered safely and appropriately" must be vigorously enforced. The decision has to be ratified by a meeting of the full council.
As previously reported, the proposal was put forward by Councillor Allen Clegg. He claimed that religious dress could intimidate people, and the public did not feel safe dealing with workers dressed in such outfits. He slammed the equality and cohesion committee for not having the courage to make a brave decision. In a poll in the local Courier newspaper, 70% of respondents had supported his suggestion. "To dismiss this out of hand is absolutely ridiculous. At the very least this needed careful consideration.
Amjid Mahmood, secretary of the Muslim Association of Calderdale, said "We are pleased common sense has prevailed."Source: National Secular Society (English)