Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, is the chair of the Newcastle Fairness Commission, set up by Newcastle City Council in Summer 2011.
The City Council gave the commission a remit to:
- gather evidence
- consult widely
- and make recommendations about the practical steps the Council can take in Newcastle to make sure that fairness underpins the decisions that affect the City’s communities
In doing so, we hope to secure a stronger social contract between the people of the city, and to demonstrate to the wider world that Newcastle is a cohesive community with opportunities for all who live and work here.
The Commission reflects a commitment:
- to inclusive democratic values
- to balancing the interests of different generations
- to support those in most need
- and with a strong sense of civic responsibility to each other and to the wider society
It recognises that hardship affecting the most vulnerable in society are of concern to all of us, and can arise from (and give rise to) inequalities. The Commission has placed a significant weight on fair processes to ensure that all in society – particularly those that would otherwise be marginalised – are given a voice. While recognising that there needs to be tough choices about the allocation of resources, it rejects the concept that these can be made by defining groups of people as inherently 'undeserving'.