England & Wales

Local Government, Fairness Commissions and Civil Society



However the policy landscape changes over the next year, it is likely that local communities will continue to endure hardships for some time as the economy emerges from the worst economic crisis in decades. This seminar looks at the practical steps local authorities can take to protect the most vulnerable in their communities, support the living standards of local people, and distribute the impacts of austerity and the proceeds of growth fairly. Covering the role of Fairness Commissions as part of broader alliances with civil society and local communities, the focus is on how local authorities can build on and develop existing achievements now and beyond 2015.

The seminar will cover:

  • Fairness Commissions
  • Earnings and incomes post-2015
  • Housing associations and practical solutions
  • Real Life Reform
  • Community anti-austerity campaigns
  • Fuel Poverty
  • Credit unions

The seminar will give delegates the chance to exchange good practice and gain new insights into successful local anti-poverty campaigns and policies and actions for the amelioration of poverty. The seminar will also be an opportunity to test views about establishing a local councils network around these issues.


9:30: Registration and refreshments

10:00: Introduction and overview to the day: Andrew Jones and Alan Waters

10:20: The role of Fairness Commissions and civil society in tackling poverty: Paul Bunyan, Edge Hill University

11:10: Community action against austerity – with or against local government? Liane Groves, Unite Head of Community Membership

12:00 Break

12:15: Earnings and Poverty Scenarios Post-2015: Laura Gardiner, Resolution Foundation

13:00 Lunch

13:45: Real Life Reform: Housing organisations and practical solutions to poverty: Satty Rai, Policy Services Manager, Northern Housing Consortium

14:30: Local government’s role in developing fair finance strategies: Damon Gibbons, Centre for Responsible Credit

15:15 Break

15:30 Local action to tackle fuel poverty: John Kolm-Murray, Seasonable Health and Affordable Warmth Co-ordinator, Islington Council

16:15 Final comments

16:30 Close

* This programme is correct at the time of publication be may be altered to reflect speaker changes that are beyond our control.


  • Paul Bunyan, Edge Hill University (co-author of the Webb Memorial Trust Report: Civil Society, Fairness Commissions, and Poverty Reduction)
  • Cllr Hamida Ali, Croydon Council
  • Neil Jameson, Chief Executive of Citizens UK
Who should attend?
Local government councillors and officers with an interest in:
  • Corporate strategy
  • Poverty reduction
  • Civil society and community engagement
Trade union and civil society partners