The borough of Richmond-upon-Thames in south east London – which awarded an £89,000 contract to a homophobic Catholic charity earlier this year – is trying to placate campaigners.
According to the National Secular Society, Richmond council have claimed staff from the Catholic society are commited ‘first and foremost’ to their professional standards and ‘not by standards of the Catholic church’.
The society, accredited by the British association for counselling and psychotherapy, said in a statement that its counsellors respect the beliefs of others and would not try to convert or pass judgement on children. Sexual orientation, tellingly, was left unmentioned.
Catholic Care was required to sign the council’s equalities policy before being presented with the contract, but doubts are still being raised.