Latest News From UK Groups
Group News: There's been some excellent work by the groups in the traditionally quiet month of August. Starting in the far north, My Fair Edinburgh, after a low-key launch, has grown quickly in a short time, as Laura Cairns from the group reports:
An early area of focus for the group is the Equality Act (which Scotland has implemented in full) with a view to ‘powering up’ Scotland. We are also working with the sponsors of the Edinburgh & Glasgow launch of The Inner Level in late October making friends & connections locally - Edinburgh has a vibrant social justice community - to maximise the impact of that event so we can launch more formally in a louder fashion. I also attended the Edinburgh consultation run by the Open Government initiative & we successfully championed a "Map of Who Holds Who To Account In Government" not only for our own purposes but also as a simple picture for citizens. Fingers crossed it survives the prioritisation process. We will know in September. For the moment our priorities are building our base, articulating the Scottish perspective & getting the messages out. Huge thanks to the band of interested people up here who responded to the Trust's call to arms and who have stepped up to provide advice and experience. It's early days and we are looking for our first campaign, although I think Brexit will have an impact and we continue to watch that unfold. Interesting times...
Somewhat further south, the Crewe & Nantwich QLM group participated in a workshop/presentation on the New Economy work done by Quaker Peace and Social Witness. During the discussions there was reference to examples of, and support for, co-operative enterprises, ethical banking, and energy from sustainable sources.
Much further south, Equality North Somerset have built on the success of their 'Poverty Hearing' in July with one of the attendees (the leader of the opposition on North Somerset council, an Independent) submitting a motion to that the council's corporate plan should address inequality. It was defeated but received good cross-party support and local media coverage. The group is now recruiting some agencies to join an equality coalition and the local Citizens Advice has already agreed to play a lead role. And they are also asking supportive councillors how they can help them and are also aiming to recruit local Equality Champions.
In the capital, My Fair London, is looking forward to its next speaker event on 11th October with Prof. Danny Dorling doing the honours. The group is also looking to use the Trust's Fairness Fifteen local manifesto across London boroughs and, London-wide, is also continuing its lobbying of the Mayor of London and GLA. The group also continues to provide speakers on inequality to local events such as party ward meetings.
And finally, we are delighted to announce the launch of our latest group Equality Alliance Stoke & Staffs which has come together after the hugely successful Big Community Conversation event earlier this year in which the Trust was proud to take part.
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.
This month it was all about our Local Groups & Activists' Day which we held on Saturday 14th July and which you can read about here. We would like to thank everyone who came along and contributed to a really enjoyable and productive day - thank you.