Latest News From UK Groups
The local groups are gearing up for our annual Local Groups & Activists Day on Saturday 14th July to be held at our offices in north London. So far, we have activists coming along from groups in London, Cambridge, Swindon, Hampshire, Dorset, Bristol, Crewe and Lincolnshire as well as many individual activists who are coming along to find out more about our local group work. The focus of the day will be a teach-in from Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett on their new book, The Inner Level, with a view to people joining our Speaker Network as advocates for equality.
In other news, Equality North Somerset are planning towards their 'Poverty Hearing' with the Bishop of Taunton on 18th July which aims to highlight the problems of poverty and inequality in the local area and to hear from those directly affected. The group has also lined up Professor Danny Dorling to speak on 5th December about Brexit and inequality (more details nearer the time...).
Our newest affiliated local group in Newcastle-under-Lyme, following an article in the Guardian, are in discussions with three TV production companies that want to run a documentary series on the restoration of high streets and communities. If other groups want to get involved, they should contact Mike Riddell whose contact details can be found here. And in the capital, My Fair London has published a great blog about Professor Diane Reay's recent talk to the group where she explained how England’s education system merely reflects rather than remedies inequality and how it has always failed the working class.
To the east the Cambridge group's successful programme of speaker events, imagine 2027, is approaching the end of its first phase. Last week (21st June) Tamasin Cave gave a very revealing presentation on the lack of transparency in lobbying, a powerful obstacle in the way of radical reform. As we go to press, on Thursday 28th June, Zoe Williams will be talking about politics and social media which will be followed by a policy platform at which participants will be invited to present plans for projects and to encourage others to join them. The group also reports that their project, Cambridge Conversations (with those whose voices are rarely heard) is now very well established.
And finally, the South Wales group are planning a study circle in the autumn to take an in-depth look at The Inner Level. In addition, the group has re-done its website and are continuing to seek funding for a video piece to highlight wealth divides within Swansea and their impacts on different neighbourhoods.
New groups: we are continuing to advise potential new groups in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Stoke. If you live in these areas and want to get involved, please email Bill Kerry - thank you.
This month we start by welcoming our newest affiliated group, the Crewe & Nantwich Quaker Local Meeting who have supported our work for some time and have now taken the step to affiliate. We hope they will blaze a trail for other Quaker groups to follow across the UK.
Staying in the north, the Sheffield group has been busy collaborating on the local initiative to look at Universal Basic Income and how it might work in the city. This has now culminated in the creation of UBI Lab Sheffield which will take the work forward. The Sheffield group, together with the North West group, have also been invited to take part in Fair Tax Fortnight organised by our friends at Fair Tax Mark.
Over to the east, the Cambridge group has continued to promote its imagine2027 initiative to its fellow Equality Trust affiliated groups and they are currently in discussions with My Fair London and Equality North Somerset about replicating its success in those areas. Further south, the Swindon group has produced a further video about inequality and are also talking with people and groups locally about running a 'Youth Employment Standards' scheme similar to the one being developed by the Oswestry local group.
Down in the capital My Fair London held a successful event this month from Diane Reay, author of Miseducation, who presented plenty of thought-provoking ideas such as the complete abolition of testing in schools. The group is also planning further public meetings, more lobbying of the Mayor and GLA, and follow up work on the recent local elections. They are also looking at ideas for new inequality-related pamphlets.
UPDATE: with regard to events to promote the new book from Profs Wilkinson and Pickett, The Inner Level (due out 7th June), we are now working with the local groups to schedule as many of these as possible in the coming months.
New Groups: We are currently advising potential new start up groups in Edinburgh, Stoke and Nottingham. If you live in these areas and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.