London and Local Authority Fairness Commissions

‘Fairness Commissions’ have been set up by London and a number of local authorities to look at how to improve equality in their areas.

The Islington Fairness Commission was set up in June 2010 to look into how to make the borough a fairer place. It was co-chaired by Professor Richard Wilkinson, one of the authors of ‘The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better’. The Commission’s final report was published in June 2011, making key recommendations in seven areas to help make the borough a fairer place for all.

The London Fairness Commission released its final report in April 2016, following the first inquiry into ‘fairness’ in the capital for 125 years. The London Fairness Commission report considers a ‘ticking time bomb’ – how London’s future success will be undermined if current problems are not resolved – and presents recommendations, including ones relating to the cost of living and housing.

Agency in Austerity: A Study of Fairness Commissions as an Approach to Reducing Poverty and Inequality in the UK was published in May 2014. The report was commissioned by the Webb Memorial Trust in association with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty by Paul Bunyan and John Diamond, Edge Hill University.

Fairness Commissions: Understanding how local authorities can have an impact on inequality and poverty was published by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in July 2015. It finds that achievements of commissions include: raising thousands of people from minimum wage to living wage, exposing and limiting the activities of payday loan companies, boosting membership of credit unions, improving accessibility of advice services, and changing the practices of private landlords on tenancy agreements and housing quality.

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