Labour pledges ‘Fairness Commission’ for the City

Besi Besemar June 25, 2014

Labour in Brighton and Hove will set up a comprehensive enquiry aimed at tackling inequality and poverty in the city if elected next May.

Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader Labour and Cooperative Group
Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader Labour and Cooperative Group

Announcing the establishment of the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission, Labour Leader Cllr Warren Morgan said: “With more than three thousand people in our city using food banks every day, and growing numbers of people in work finding themselves living below the poverty line, we need to take action to help those families out of debt, out of poverty and into secure homes and better paid jobs.”

“A Fairness Commission, similar to those set up in over a dozen cities and London boroughs, would gather evidence and take targeted action to achieve those goals. It would be independently chaired, involve leading figures from across the city, take evidence from residents and people working in the field, and complete its work within a year.”

Cllr Gill MitchellCllr Gill Mitchell, Labour’s Deputy Leader, added: “There is much good work going on to tackle debt, some of it the result of action Labour has taken on the council to secure funding for anti-poverty action. The community banking partnership launching soon is a result of that, and we’ve taken action on payday lenders and on addictive, high stakes gambling machines at betting shops as well. A Fairness Commission would bring that work together, see what else can be done and ensure everyone in the city is working together on real solutions.”

Fairness Commissions have been set up in 10 Local Authorities across England (Islington, Liverpool, York, Newcastle, Sheffield, Blackpool, Tower Hamlets, Plymouth, Bristol, Oldham and Southampton) and in Brighton the running costs will be met through existing policy and scrutiny budgets.

The Commissions have looked at a wide range of issues, including: 

• Reducing health inequalities within local authority boundaries

• Tackling youth unemployment

• Improving access to affordable housing and supporting tenants in the private rented sector