Latest News From UK Groups
Starting this month in Hampshire, the local group continues to plan towards Professor Richard Wilkinson’s visit on 5th December, to talk about The Inner Level, and things are shaping up nicely by all accounts. Similarly, at the other end of the UK, My Fair Edinburgh has been ably supporting the organisation of two packed Inner Level events (with both Profs Wilkinson and Pickett) in Glasgow and Edinburgh which are about to happen as we go to press (STOP PRESS – both events very successful!).
Meanwhile, in the capital, My Fair London report a successful event with Professor Danny Dorling who outlined his “peak inequality” thesis. The group are now planning future speaker events as well as continuing with their borough-level campaigns using The Equality Trust’s Fairness Fifteen local manifesto and planning their activities for next year, including the development of a manifesto ahead of the next Mayoral election in 2020.
In Stoke & Staffs, the local equality alliance is planning towards its next meeting in November which will focus on producing a local charter based on shared aims and values. A key concern will be to include a wide diversity of voices from across the alliance and the community, especially those voices that are typically less heard.
Down in Dorset, the local group hosted a screening of The Divide documentary in Dorchester and report the beginnings of a supporter base in mid/west Dorset. There is also an ongoing conversation with Dorset County Council around the Fairness Fifteen manifesto and a recent conference with Professor Danny Dorling and others in Weymouth. This addressed the fact that Portland/Weymouth is now acknowledged to have the lowest average wage in the UK which makes Dorset a true microcosm of the wider, massive UK economic divide.
Over to the east, the Cambridge group is pursuing a group of local projects supported by regular monthly ‘Meetups’, social events where supporters new and old are invited to register interest in assisting specific projects. The group also held its AGM where many new people were elected before hearing a talk by Robert Porrer on the interface between school and work and the challenges faced by disadvantaged students. The group also took part in the large Volunteers’ Fair on Saturday 20th, which was a good opportunity to spread the equality message and recruit further support.
And finally, in Oswestry, the local group has re-branded as ‘Equality Oswestry’ and has adopted the tagline of Supporting Equality and Diversity as it seeks to grow in the town.
To start this month, we hear from our newest affiliated local group in Northampton - Robin Burgess writes: The new Equality Trust group for Northampton is part of the Northampton Hope organisation, a progressive anti-poverty charity also providing extensive services to alleviate poverty and homelessness and help people to find routes out of it through training and work. We have decided to be much more active in campaigning and agitating for policy solutions given we live in an age of damaging austerity and in which Northamptonshire, with a bankrupt local county council, is at the epicentre. We are looking for people to join us and help us campaign, including those with lived experience, and on 12th October we are hosting some community organising training to help people become more confident in speaking up for what they believe in. We are also looking to enable a renters’ union to emerge in Northampton, working to find people prepared to lobby and argue for better regulation of rented housing in our area. If anybody out there wants to get in touch, we would love to hear from you…
Meanwhile, down in Swindon, the local group recently gave a presentation on inequality to a joint Unitarian and Quaker meeting, and a further talk is planned to the Swindon Philosophical Society on 26th October. The group is also looking at further initiatives on promoting the real Living Wage to local companies and also running a conversation café, an idea that came out of our annual activists’ day in July.
To the south, the Hampshire group will be presenting The Inner Level evidence on 25th October (6pm, Student Union Vault, Sparkford Rd, Winchester) as part of Winchester Student Union Diversity Week (also open to the public). Then on 5th December (7.15pm, The Spark Conference Centre, Southampton Solent University) Professor Richard Wilkinson will talk about The Inner Level alongside Roger Brown, former Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, author of The Inequality Crisis: The facts and what we can do about it.
In the capital My Fair London are looking forward to hearing Professor Danny Dorling on 11th October regarding his thesis that the UK may have reached 'peak inequality', and a lively discussion will doubtless ensue. And finally, up in Scotland, My Fair Edinburgh look forward to welcoming Profs Wilkinson and Pickett on 26th October to hear all about The Inner Level. This is the second part of a mini-tour of Scotland, with the first leg being in Glasgow the night before (25th October). Check our social media for more details soon…
New Groups: We are currently advising a potential new start up group in Nottingham/Notts. If you live in this area and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.