The Equality and Human Rights Commission issued the following statement in response to questions that arose during the making of Panorama's Undercover: Hate on the Doorstep programme.
The Comments made by Trevor Phillips highlighted the changes in attitudes towards racism in the ten years since the Macpherson Inquiry - specifically to a change in public attitudes, NOT to life chances and opportunities. They were based on evidence from two Mori polls for the Commission which looked at race issues in the UK and Europe. The speech pointed out that, whilst attitudes were changing, achievements in the fields of employment, education and equal opportunities, had not caught up.
Of course, as your programme highlights, some individuals do continue to suffer appalling racism. That is why the Commission uses measures including legal action, formal inquiries and funding to tackle the issue - nearly half of all our 450 compliance/pre-enforcement actions undertaken since October 2007 relate to race.
Our funding programme has £10m to distribute. This year, we received over 2100 applications, worth in excess of £500 million. Inevitably tough decisions had to be taken about the allocation of funds, not least ensuring we deliver value for public money. Through our 2008/9 interim grants programme, the Commission distributed £4.5m to race-related organisations. This is more than the £4m given on an annual basis by the Commission for Racial Equality.
Unsuccessful applicants were sent information helping them identify and secure alternative sources of funding - including a list of nine other possible funding sources. Although SARI was not successful with its application for funding from the Commission's Strategic Funding Programme, a significant number of other race organisations and projects delivering race-related work across the UK, have gone through to the next stage. Within the South West region in which SARI operates, 11 out of the 15 applicants will deliver work that has a race dimension.