Terms of Reference for the Blackpool Fairness Commission

A Vision for Fairness in Blackpool

The Blackpool Fairness Commission aims to engage with local people from all walks of life, listening to their views and opinions, which will directly inform decisions and priorities. The Commission will celebrate and positively promote the good work that currently takes place within the town, whilst also encouraging greater working relationships between organisations. We will seek to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest members of our society and will aspire to make Blackpool a fairer place to live and work.

A Pledge for Fairness

  • We will work together to promote positive attitudes and perceptions of the town and the people who live here.
  • We will take decisive action to create more opportunities for people to achieve their potential.
  • We will actively promote diversity and equality, bringing people together to build a more cohesive society.
  • We will value people and the contributions they bring to the Commission.
  • We will listen to the needs of our communities.
  • We will challenge perceptions of material gain as a mark of success.

Terms of Reference for each level of participation

The aim of the Fairness Commission is to explore and identify ways in which we can make Blackpool a ‘fairer’ and more equal place for residents, in the context of higher levels of social and economic disadvantage and the long term effect that this is having on the town.

The Commission will work within the following boundaries:

  • An extensive body of evidence exists about the nature and extent of inequality in the UK and the damaging effects of inequality on wider society. The work of this Commission will build on what we already know about inequality and not seek to replicate research that has already been done in this area.
  • ‘Fairness’ should be the guiding principle which underpins the way that we plan budgets and deliver services. The Commission will consider how the Localism Agenda can deliver fairer outcomes for people in Blackpool, in particular looking at how we can make the best use of our powers, duties, and resources to get the best and fairest outcomes for residents.
  • The work and recommendations of the Commission should help us to build consensus in the town when we have to make difficult decisions so that these decisions, and the way in which we make them are seen as fair and do not lead to greater inequality.
  • The Commission will focus on areas in which there is the greatest potential for the Council and its partners to influence outcomes, either through the use of local powers and resources or by using our voice to campaign regionally and nationally for better outcomes for Blackpool residents.
  • Perceptions of unfairness are important because they can fuel tensions, distrust and conflict, even when the perception is not an accurate reflection of real inequalities. The Commission will consider ways to effectively challenge perceptions of unfairness, in order to foster greater cohesion in communities and greater trust between the town’s residents and its institutions.

Structure of the Commission

The Commission will operate on three tiers: Steering Panel with a Chair, a larger body of Commissioners and a wide network of supporters. Their roles and responsibilities are set out below:

Chair

The Chair is the figurehead of the Commission; he/she will represent the Commission at a national, regional and local level and be a strong advocate for Fairness in Blackpool.

The role of the Chair is to provide strong leadership to the Steering Panel and Commissioners and take a lead role in setting the strategic direction for the Commission as it continues to develop its structure, membership and remit.  A new Chair will be elected on an annual basis.

Steering Panel

The Blackpool Fairness Steering Panel will meet bi-monthly and will be representative of Commission body. Members will be selected to join the Steering Panel for a one year period when membership on the Panel will be reviewed.

Representation on the panel will comprise of:

  • The Chair of the Fairness Commission;
  • The Leader of Blackpool Council and representation for Blackpool Council  (through nomination from the organisation);
  • NHS Blackpool (through nomination from the organisation);
  • Lancashire Constabulary (through nomination from the organisation); 
  • Voluntary, Community & Faith Sector (through expression of interest);
  • Private Sector (through expression of interest);
  • Education (through expression of interest);
  • Equality (through expression of interest); and
  • Blackpool’s Young People’s Council (Chair and Panel representatives).

The elected representatives will be selected by the following process:

  • Submission of a written Expression of Interest, with a Biography and Supporting Statement
  • Interview with the Panel

The Steering Panel will be expected to play a key role in coordinating the activity of the Commission. They will be Ambassadors for Fairness within their own organisation and will be responsible for taking recommendations back to their own organisations whilst using spheres of influence to implement recommendations.  The Panel will help to shape and promote the work of the Fairness Commission; identifying practical ways of making Blackpool a fairer place and working collaboratively across different sectors to reduce inequalities.

Commissioners

Commissioners are representatives from organisations in Blackpool that are committed to making Blackpool fairer. Their role will be to help shape and promote the work of the Fairness Commission to their own teams / departments / organisations.

Commissioners will meet regularly to discuss key fairness issues and will be encouraged to identify and bring forward practical ideas that can be implemented locally through the creation of project delivery groups based on ongoing discussions with the Commission and other stakeholders i.e. residents.

Supporters

Supporters can decide how they wish to be involved. This may involve taking part in surveys, consultation activity, attending meetings or themed events, making pledges, or simply giving us their contact details so we can keep them informed with what is happening. They will be able to commit as much or as little time as they wish.

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