Making the city fairer

Making the city fairer

The Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission was set up in 2015 to investigate what needed to happen to make the city a fairer place to live.

 

What we did

Given its importance to future policy for our city, we undertook a number of activities designed to raise awareness of the commission and to encourage our members to share their skills, expertise and experience with the commissioners.

We provided regular updates on the commission to our members so that they were aware of the commission’s progress. Our updates meant that our members were more aware of what was going on and therefore better placed to get involved in submitting evidence directly to the commission, which improved the commission’s overall evidence base.

We also supported our members to collectively respond to the calls for evidence made by the commissioners to help inform their investigations. We organised a series of workshops for our members on the key themes of the commission. The workshops provided a space for our members to bring their knowledge together into statements for each of the commission’s five key themes:

The statements highlighted relevant examples of local projects and initiatives, and shared our members’ views on what to do to make the city a fairer place to live. Our members provide services to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, so they’re uniquely placed to see the impact of unfairness and to recognise ways it can be stopped.

We also submitted our own evidence on the importance and impact of volunteering.

 

Making change happen

Our submission on volunteering resulted in the commission recommending that infrastructure support for volunteering be increased, and also informed the focus of the council’s investment programme for voluntary and community organisations.

As a result of our efforts, the fairness commission was able to make use of both our extensive knowledge of the city, and our members’ views and expertise of what would make the city a fairer place.

 

Next steps

The commission published its findings in June 2016.

Brighton and Hove Connected, a key citywide decision-making forum, has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the commission’s recommendations. Our elected reps involved in this forum, will champion the programme of work and ensure momentum is maintained.

We’re also working to influence local public sector spending plans, which need to make resources available for the implementation of the recommendations to succeed. We’ve met with those working on implementing the recommendations to continue to provide practical input, thinking and support.

The commission will review progress made towards meeting their recommendations in 6 and 12 months time.

 

What you can do

The commission’s findings particularly highlighted the need for everyone in the city to continue to work to ensure equity for black and minority ethnic communities, people with disabilities, people of different sexual orientations, and transgendered people.

We’d encourage all organisations in the city to consider what they can do to further equality for all people who identify with these characteristics, and to achieve the wider recommendations made by the commission.

 

Collaborate with voluntary and community organisations

If you work in the public sector you’ll benefit from collaborating with voluntary and community organisations. They can share data and intelligence on local needs, and help with designing innovative commissions and providing services which make a difference.

We can support you to collaborate and work in partnership with voluntary and community organisations in Brighton, Hove, Adur and Worthing.

To find out more get in touch with our Partnerships Manager, Laura Williams, on laura@bhcommunityworks.org.uk or 01273 234025

 

“It was a privilege to be involved in this process and to hear from so many residents about their experiences of living and working in Brighton and Hove. It was fantastic that so many people gave up their time to contribute and put forward their ideas and thoughts with such energy and commitment. I hope residents feel that the recommendations reflect their suggestions and that the priorities pulled out in the report will make a difference. The Fairness Commission’s conclusion coincides with a period of great uncertainty and future change. But perhaps the report offers some much needed certainty and direction for us all to work together and focus our shared resources on making a fairer city.”

“It was a privilege to be involved in this process and to hear from so many residents about their experiences of living and working in Brighton and Hove. It was fantastic that so many people gave up their time to contribute and put forward their ideas and thoughts with such energy and commitment. I hope residents feel that the recommendations reflect their suggestions and that the priorities pulled out in the report will make a difference. The Fairness Commission’s conclusion coincides with a period of great uncertainty and future change. But perhaps the report offers some much needed certainty and direction for us all to work together and focus our shared resources on making a fairer city.”

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