THE chair of the African Community Association of Bolton has quit the group.

Noelene Gillatt took up her role in May, but resigned yesterday, criticising some of the other group members for not being “willing to move with the times”.

She told the Bolton News that the decision had been made with “mixed feelings” as a result of a long-standing “difference of opinion”.

In a statement, she said: “I am deeply proud of the work that was achieved during my leadership including the delivery of a very different but wonderfully well-received and successful programme of activities and events commemorating Black History Month in October 2018.

“This success has been largely due to the hard working and team of volunteers who embraced change with open hearts, enthusiasm, energy and commitment.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside and with representatives from partner organisations who have opened their doors and dedicated their time to new ideas, new approaches and new ways of working, I look forward to working with them again in the future.

“I am also very grateful to those organisations who have expressed an interest in working more closely with ACAB to build on existing service provision and to those organisations who have shown willing to consider a more, personal experience, needs based but research led approach to delivering services to and for our community.

“Sadly, not everyone is willing to move with the times and in the 10 months that I have served as chair I have come to realise that ACAB and some of its representatives do not share my hopes, dreams, and ambitions; nor do they represent my views or the views of the many Africans I’ve been privileged enough to speak with and learn from. I now have no hope of ACAB being willing or capable of helping us achieves these.”

ACAB offers voluntary services helping and supporting people from all over Africa and runs events, notably those around Black History Month each October. Ms Gillatt was appointed chair of the group last April after the previous incumbent, Nat Biney, stepped down.

Mr Biney said: “I recommended Noelene and asked every member to back her. Unfortunately, the plan did not work as expected. We held a meeting recently and removed her from the chairmanship.”

Following Ms Gillatt’s departure, an interim committee has been appointed in her place.