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Lambeth launches Equality Commission to spearhead the crusade against poverty and disadvantage

Lambeth is launching a ground-breaking new campaign to tackle the problems which still hold back people in some of the borough’s most disadvantaged communities.

The Council has signed up a panel of distinguished local residents and policy experts to carry out an in-depth investigation of the causes and impact of poverty and inequality across all areas of life – including education and employment.

The Equality Commission will focus in particular on Lambeth’s Portuguese, Black African and Black Caribbean, and Somalian communities, as well as those adults living with disabilities.

Panel members will report later this year, setting out how they believe Lambeth can help break down the barriers that are still preventing so many of its residents from fulfilling their potential.

Lambeth Council leader, Cllr Lib Peck, said: “Lambeth has surged ahead in so many ways in recent years, with enormous improvements in the achievements of our schoolchildren and investment in our businesses.

“But despite this growth, we are acutely aware that Lambeth remains one of the most deprived areas of the country – and some members of our community suffer even greater levels of poverty inequality.

“Lambeth is open for business and bold in our ambitions but, at the heart of it all, there must be fairness. We want our Equality Commission to identify the level of inequality in Lambeth particularly for members of some communities that are often furthest away from opportunity. We will then drive action to tear down these barriers.”

The Council is in close contact with London Mayor Sadiq Khan over the drive to create a Lambeth for all Lambeth residents, as it chimes directly with the spirit of his campaign theme, a London for all Londoners.

Lambeth’s policy team has already massed data highlighting disadvantage and reveals at what point in the life cycle members of those communities seem to be most adversely affected. It is already leading in-depth studies in a number of key areas relating to inequality, including the academic achievement of black Caribbean pupils in the borough.

The Equality Commission will be asked to enhance this raw data with personal testimonies and to look at how the Council and other key local stakeholders can use their limited resources to greatest effect.

The Commission will consist of a mix of people living and working in Lambeth, alongside policy thinkers. After an informal first gathering over the summer, panel members are expected to hold at least five meetings over the autumn and deliver their report at the end of the year.

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Notes for editors:

  • The full membership of Lambeth’s Equality Commission will be confirmed later this week.
  • The terms of reference for the Commission are below:

Lambeth Equality Commission: A Lambeth for all Lambeth Residents

Purpose:

 

A commission to investigate and improve the understanding of poverty and inequality in Lambeth, and in particular poverty and inequality experienced by several identifiable communities. To make recommendations to central government, city government, and local Lambeth stakeholders.
Functions:

 

To gather a diverse range of evidence on the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in Lambeth

To lead a process of engagement that involves Lambeth’s communities, partners, and stakeholders in gathering and understanding the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in Lambeth

To develop a series of recommendations to local, regional and national leaders on how to reduce the negative impacts of poverty and inequality and how to promote equality of opportunity.

Operating guidelines:

 

Commission to be led by a group of commissioners with insight and interest in poverty and inequality in Lambeth

Commissioners to meet regularly; initially to agree the remit of the commission, and then to hold evidence gathering sessions, engagement sessions, and meeting to review and develop recommendations

Commission to be chaired by an appointed commissioner

Variety of meeting styles to be used appropriate to the work necessary

Frequency: Monthly – over 6 month period (September to March)
Governance documents:

 

Terms of Reference

Forward programme

Action log

Secretariat:

 

Commission to be supported by policy team, leader’s office, communications with some commissioned research by partners or external providers
Communication protocol: Matters arising and relevant information will be communicated to:

All staff, partners and stakeholders, wider public

Knowledge management:

 

Facilities for commissioners and secretariat to share information and documents including research and records of meetings. Public facing website to share information on ongoing work, research and outcome of meetings.
Review Draft terms of reference to be reviewed and agreed by commission once established.

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