A ground-breaking report which sets out how to make Newcastle a fairer city will be launched next month (July).The recommendations by the Newcastle Fairness Commission are the culmination of a year of work and complement a range of initiatives intended to embed fairness into decisions made across the city.
The report, Fair Share, Fair Play, Fair Go and Fair Say, sets out 10 principles of fairness and addresses a number of public services dilemmas by applying the principles.
Examples of the service dilemmas are listed under notes to editors. They will be posted on the Let’s talk Newcastle website www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk.
Why not have a go at and consider what you think would be a fair decision and see how your response compares with those in the report when it is published on Monday, July 16.
Although the report acknowledges that fairness is a contested concept, the principles set out within it are intellectually rigorous and useful tools to be applied by decision-makers when making policies and decisions, the report says.
The purpose is to try and ensure that decisions – taken in the face of unprecedented spending cuts – are fair; take into account the views of the less articulate as well as the confident and instill public confidence in decision makers who have to choose how diminishing resources should be deployed.
Prof Chris Brink, vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, who chairs the Commission, said: “I would like to thank the members of the commission for their hard work over the last year and the insight they have brought to our discussions.
“The report aims to instil fair decision-making, rather than making a specific set of recommendations by defining some principles which we hope will improve decision-making and provide guidance on how the principles may be applied to real decisions facing the city.
“We have avoided making snap judgements and instead set out a range of factors that need to be balanced against each other.”
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, who invited the Commission, said: “The country faces unprecedented cuts which will have a direct impact on the services of local government – but we should not be daunted by this.
“By working together and considering fairness in all that we do, we can make Newcastle a more confident city which is more at ease with itself. I am looking forward to reading the Commission’s report and learning what a positive difference it can make to Newcastle.”
The report will be published on Monday, July 16, to allow people to read it and give their opinions. It will then form part of a debate at a special ‘let’s talk about tomorrow’ stakeholder event at Newcastle Civic Centre on Wednesday, July 18, starting at 6pm.
This important debate will bring together leading figures from across the city to discuss how Newcastle should respond to the financial and social challenges expected in the years ahead.
The council has a range of other initiatives which it is using to make the city fairer, including a Living Wage Advisory Panel aimed at promoting a living wage; a financial inclusion strategy to help people in debt and tackle loan sharks; and give additional support to people who are excluded, for example older people, the jobless, and women from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
published on: 27 June 2012