Institute for Social Renewal


Terms of Reference

At its first meeting in October 2011, the Fairness Commission agreed to work within the following parameters:

  • an extensive body of evidence exists about the nature and extent of inequality in the UK and the damaging effects of inequality on wider society. The work of this Commission will build on what we already know about inequality and not seek to replicate research that has already been done in this area
  • ‘Fairness’ should be the guiding principle which underpins the way that we plan budgets and deliver services. The Commission will consider how the Localism agenda can deliver fairer outcomes for people in Newcastle, in particular looking at how we can make the best use of our powers, duties, levers and resources to get the best and fairest outcomes for residents
  • the work and recommendations of the Commission should help us to build consensus in the city and ‘take people with us’ when we have to make difficult decisions so that our decisions, and the processes by which we arrive at them, are seen as fair and do not damage cohesion or lead to greater inequality
  • the Commission will focus on areas in which there is the greatest potential for the council and its partners to influence outcomes, either through the use of local powers and resources or by using our voice to campaign regionally and nationally for better outcomes for Newcastle residents
  • perceptions of unfairness are important because they can fuel tensions, distrust and conflict, even when the perception is not an accurate reflection of real inequalities. The Commission will consider ways for the Council and its partners to effectively challenge perceptions of unfairness, in order to foster greater cohesion in communities and greater trust between the city’s residents and its institutions
  • a separate Advisory Panel will be established to explore the specific issue of a Living Wage for Newcastle. This will run as a parallel process to the work of the Fairness Commission