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Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission: solving the Rubic's cube

Date: 07 Mar 2013


The Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission held a series of public meetings from November 2012 to February 2013 looking at poverty, income and the role of businesses and local services in Tower Hamlets.

As one of the Commissioners, Toynbee Hall's Chief Executive Graham Fisher said: "It has been quite a roller coaster: a lot of evidence and facts about Tower Hamlets to get to grips with, listening to people’s concerns, hopes and aspirations, but also getting out and seeing what the challenges are and what works in practice" 

Fairness Commission: the final public meeting

The final public meeting of the Commission took place last week asking the question: “How can we look out for each other?”

The meeting considered the safety nets available within our local community, who provides them and whether we are mutually responsible for the borough's wellbeing. The Commission heard from a wide range of experts including: Somen Bannerjee, Director of Public Health in the borough; Lyn Middleton, CEO of the Carers Centre; and Katherine Sacks-Jones, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Crisis - the homelessness charity based right next to Toynbee Hall. Katherine reminded the audience that: “The biggest threat to safety nets is the cut to housing benefit. The benefit cap will affect 1,400 people in Tower Hamlets”.  

What’s next?

Commission chair Dr Giles Fraser said: “Now we’re going to start putting our report together. We’re hugely grateful to the many people who have spoken to us. It’s like one big Rubik’s cube and now we’re about the start twisting it!”

Graham Fisher comments: "people really care about Tower Hamlets and each other and take incredible pride in their neighborhoods. This is a hugely valuable resource that stands ready to do more for a fairer future."  There is still a lot to be done but the will and hopefully the way will soon fall into place.

The Commissioners are due to release their findings later in the year.