Newport Fairness Commission
Newport Fairness Commission's work
Since it was formed in November 2012 the Fairness Commission has worked to form a clearer understanding of what is meant by fairness.
Four parameters of fairness were identified, from which key questions arise concerning the focal points of fairness.
These parameters and focal points of fairness were used to inform a review of the 2013/14 Newport City Council budget proposals by four working groups made up of members of the Fairness Commission.
The findings of this review formed the basis for the interim report which was presented to the council in February 2013.
The Fairness Commission decided to further use this framework to examine more closely the impact of a particular budget decision, namely the reversal of the closure of a local library and working groups considered how the four parameters applied to this decision.
In addition, the Fairness Commission looked at how it could stimulate wider public debate on issues surrounding fairness.
A public consultation exercise in May – June 2013 used the Involve Newport residents panel and consulted with member organisations on perceptions of fairness and links to local service provision.
This work is set out in the Full Report to Council which was published in October 2013, one year after the Fairness Commission’s inception.
Each year since 2013 the Fairness Commission has published a response to the Council’s draft budget proposals which the Chair has presented to Cabinet.
Promoting the work of Newport Fairness Commission
Members of Newport Fairness Commission have been active in promoting the work the Commission and contributing to public discussions on fairness. This has included engagement locally e.g. through participation in local festivals (see Maindee Festival link below), and at the National and UK level through involvement in conferences, debates and studies.
To embed the parameters of fairness within Newport City Council the Fairness Commission developed a training package for elected members who are on scrutiny committees. In addition the Fairness Commission will be delivering a training package for council officers on completing the 'fairness' section of equality impact assessments. It is expected that this training will begin in September 2017.
Members of Newport Fairness Commission are expected to find opportunities to promote the fairness agenda through their ‘day-jobs’.
Details of projects are listed here, for example a session for school pupils on fairness undertaken in Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw.
As spin-off projects progress they will be added to this page.
Training resources for elected members:
Wellbeing of Future Generations
As part of the work required under the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 the Fairness Commission was involved in the development of the Local Assessment of Wellbeing, by providing a detailed consultation response. This response cirtiqued the draft assessment and considered how the values of well-being and fairness can be meaningfully understood and promoted within and across Newport.
Fairness Commission response to the Draft Wellbeing Assessment
Following the publishing of the the Wellbeing Assessment Newport City Council developed a Local Wellbeing Plan which sets out it's work programme to deliver the wellbeing agenda. The Fairness Commission took part in the statutory consultation by submitting a paper which highlighted the problems in understanding the value of fairness when promoting the goals of increasing wellbeing for the population overall, at the same time promoting either the goal of equality between better off and worst off groups in respect to the levels of wellbeing experienced, or the prioritisation of increasing the worst-off groups’ well-being, separate to considerations of equality.
Fairness commission response to the Draft Wellbeing Plan for Newport 2018/2023.
The Fairness Commission has stressed the importance of evidence based approached to making policy decisions and planning services. Such an approach is being developed by the Council and their Public Services Board partners through the Community Wellbeing Profile (local assessment of wellbeing) and the accompanying local wellbeing profiles (ward profiles) which are available through the Newport Atlas.