Skip Content

Press Release: Fair London?

Published: 13 Mar 2014


Societies that are unequal are bad for almost everyone – the poor as much as the well off. Joined-up thinking on the topics of inequality and fairness is crucial, as London is one of the most unequal regions in the UK. Three organisations have today come together to establish the feasibility of having a city-wide London Fairness Commission: Toynbee Hall, My Fair London and Trust for London.

The plan is to create a unified voice on these issues by setting up a London Fairness Commission chaired by a prominent Londoner and representing all sections of London society. The initial feasibility project will research a range of responsibilities that a city-wide London Fairness Commission will cover: review the available evidence and identify how and why inequality is a serious issue for the wellbeing of all Londoners; measure the level of income inequality and its consequences for London; develop recommendations for all stakeholders to make London fairer.

The stark realities of inequality are illustrated by life expectancy figures in London. The differences in life expectancy between the worst and the best boroughs, has dramatically risen, as inequality has increased. Between 1999 and 2001 the difference between the best and worst boroughs was 5.4 years for men, and 4.2 years for women.  By 2007-2009 it had increased to 9 years for men, and 8.5 years for women.[1] Action must be taken.

In 2010 Islington Council wanted to address the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the borough through a new enterprise, coined the Fairness Commission. Their ambition since has created a ripple-effect in boroughs and cities up and down the country. Creating opportunities for charities and organisations to influence local policy and promote good practise for a fairer society.

[1] The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, by Professors Wilkinson and Pickett (Penguin, 2010).