Could what fairness is for many people in Sheffield get missed by the “great and the good” who form the fairness commission? Should a big conversation about what is fair sit alongside the commission to provoke change? A working group to produce proposals is meeting Wednesday 22nd February: 7pm at Quaker Meeting House. All welcome, please get in touch if you want more details.
The next meeting of the Equality Group will consider the submission to, and possible actions around, the Fairness Commission – as well as the usual chat around income inequality issues. Please come along, Wednesday 7th March, 7pm at Quaker Meeting House, St James St (just by the Cathedral).
“There is near consensus within academia concerning the link between inequality and violent crime. Indeed, as seemingly small reductions in income inequality can lead to sizeable falls in violent crime, these findings have powerful policy implications. The uncertainty surrounding the transmission mechanisms are an additional reason to target economic inequality directly. As Elgar and Aitken  suggest, ‘…crime reduction policies that ignore income inequality relinquish much of their potential impact on reducing homicide.'”
Notes of February meeting
Concern that the priorities and suggestions of the commission will be responding to the needs of Sheffield Council, and with reliance on the usual faces and ideas. Needs to be about “the rich” as well as “the poor”.
The “Big Conversation” budget planning event in Leeds was cited as a possible model for engaging in real talk about what fairness means. Disagreement over whether it would be best as a spread out series of events, possibly attaching to other events, or a more focussed ‘weekend’ involving various activities to attract interest and involvement. Potential for other funding (e.g. Equality and Human Rights Commission). A working group will draw up proposals.
Need to get ordinary people involved and go somewhere positive with that involvement. Disagreement over whether “fairness” is a useful word to engage people. There will be very different views on what “fairness” is, for some it will be about reducing income inequality, for others it will be about reducing rights for immigrants, or benefit claimants, and so on. That is no reason to avoid the discussion, but does raise the issue of what the reality is for many.
A list of questions were sent seeking clarification of some points. The answers to these are on our website:
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