North Lanarkshire Fairness Commission Report

The North Lanarkshire Fairness Commission has delivered its final report to the council

North Lanarkshire Fairness Commission logo

The Commission, which was established in 2017 to examine issues of inequality, poverty and fairness in North Lanarkshire, has heard extensive evidence from across the council and its partners.

In an in-depth pdf icon report [2Mb] presented to the council's policy and resources committee, the Commission set out 16 recommendations aimed at ensuring North Lanarkshire is a fairer place.

They included recommendations to ensure inclusive growth is at the heart of all public investment, improving the chances of employment for young people, helping people access affordable credit and the development of an overarching anti-poverty strategy.

The Commission, chaired by Professor Annette Hastings of University of Glasgow, was independent. It carried out six major evidence sessions beginning in March 2017 and took into account a host of expert evidence.

Professor Hastings said: "We focussed on recommending action that can challenge poverty and inequality. That means tackling some of the greatest hardships faced by the people of North Lanarkshire such as low pay, expensive fuel or inadequate support to meet life's challenges.

"It also means reducing the gaps between people living in different circumstances, for example in relation to health and wellbeing, educational achievement and transport.

"This means that, while we expect many people to gain from the work inspired by the Commission, the most benefit will be gained by those who need it most. North Lanarkshire will only be fairer if the situations and opportunities of those experiencing poverty are improved in absolute ways, and in ways that close gaps in outcomes across the spectrum."

The policy and resources committee agreed that the council's chief executive would set out how the council could respond to the recommendations at the next meeting of the committee in December.

Councillor Paul Kelly, depute leader of the council, said: "The amount of detailed work the Commission has carried out is clear to see. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank Professor Hastings and all the commissioners for the extent of that work and the amount of thought that has gone in to making these recommendations. The desire of the council to respond positively is obvious and we will make progress as quickly as we can.

"All councillors want to ensure that poverty and inequality are dealt with in North Lanarkshire and I expect there will be firm action to implement the recommendations."

Professor Hastings added: "The Commission believes that there is already lots of good work going on in North Lanarkshire, by the council and others, to address some of these issues. What I hope our report does is galvanise and focus some of that effort. It also recommends that this work is carried out with people in communities themselves. I very much look forward to seeing some of the results."

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