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Professor Paul Watt to co-chair Haringey Fairness Commission

The commission will work to tackle inequality and ensure services meet local needs, and will benefit from Professor Watt’s academic research into social inequalities, social housing, communities and urban regeneration.

Paul Watt, Professor of Urban Studies at Birkbeck, will co-chair a group of community and faith leaders, experts, local residents and politicians to help Haringey become a fairer and more equal borough for its residents, diverse communities and businesses.

The Fairness Commission will be made up of around 20 people – many of whom live in the borough and come from a range of backgrounds and experience. It will work to tackle inequality and ensure services meet local needs, and will benefit from Watt’s academic research into social inequalities, social housing, communities and urban regeneration.

The commission – jointly chaired by Professor Watt and Councillor Zena Brabazon, Cabinet Member for Civic Services – will be speaking to residents, fellow community groups, partners, experts and businesses to get their views and share experiences, ideas and knowledge.

Professor Watt said: “Despite London's status as a dynamic global city, inequality blights the lives of twenty-first century Londoners in a manner which is all too reminiscent of the Victorian period when the city was characterised by stark divisions of wealth and poverty. By gathering together the views of experts, leaders and – importantly – residents, the Haringey Fairness Commission will have a fantastic foundation for making a real difference in the vital fight for greater equality.

“The diversity of experiences and backgrounds that will be brought to the table will provide genuine insight into how we can all work together to make Haringey a fairer place. This Fairness Commission stands out as it is largely made up of people who have links to the borough - I’m pleased to be part of a group who are committed to making a real impact for the people who live and work here.

Residents can share their views online about ways inequality could be tackled and what fairness means to them. Public engagement sessions will be held between October 2018 and March 2019, with a final report and practical recommendations expected to be put to Haringey Council in summer 2019.

Themes for the commission are expected to be wide-ranging, looking at areas such as jobs and employment, finance, communities and neighbourhoods, housing, health and well-being, adult social care, child poverty, children and education.

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