Latest News From UK Groups
Starting in Oswestry, the local group has had a very busy month including a Human Rights Tour around the town from the British Institute of Human Rights as well as meetings on housing, health and welfare - as well as finding time to pop over to participate in a talk by Martin Wilkinson (brother of Richard) to the North Wales Economic Justice Group (Quakers).
Moving south and east, the Colchester group are preparing for a training event from the Living Wage Foundation designed to help people feel confident in talking to local businesses about their employment practices and the benefits of becoming Living Wage employers. Not far away in Cambridge, the local group is preparing for its next lectures in its 'Imagine' series where they get prominent thinkers and commentators to opine on the great issues of the day. Brexit is likely to be a hot topic in the coming months and years.
Over in the capital, My Fair London are working with the deputy Mayor of London (Mathew Ryder, responsible for Social Integration, Social Mobility, and Community Engagement) on indicators to measure inequality and concrete policy proposals to reduce it. The group also joined forces with TET staff to support the very large march in support of the NHS in London at the beginning of the month. To the west, Tom Wilkes from the Swindon group has written another excellent article for the local newsletter, the Swindon Link, about inequality and education. Not far away, the Hampshire group has been giving talks to the Green Party (Winchester) and to the Sustainable Development Conference (Southampton University). Further talks are planned in Alton, Southampton and Winchester as is action around the upcoming local elections focusing on demands for the true Living Wage to be paid to all council employees.
Down the road in Bristol, the best place to live in the UK according to The Times, the local group and others have pointed to some of the worst deprivation, air pollution and educational attainment in the country. Perhaps Dr John Savage the new independent candidate for Metro Mayor, who says he is committed to working in partnership across the political divide, can help tackle these issues? The local group will be keen to find out. And elsewhere the group will also be attending the Unitarian Church annual meeting on 11 April where Prof. Kate Pickett will be speaking.
And finally, just over the border, Gideon Calder from the South Wales group put in a great performance on the BBC's Big Questions from Cardiff talking about inequality and happiness. The group is also holding hustings for the upcoming local elections in Newport and Swansea on 20 and 27 April respectively.
Starting in the north, the Sheffield group is linking up with the excellent city-wide Festival of Debate (2017) with two initiatives: first a postcard campaign asking questions to prompt discussion on inequalities, the plan being to have the postcards at various places and events, and then collate them as a display and/or publication (partly prompted by this excellent initiative). The second is a public meeting on Basic Income, though that is still in early stages. Over in Oswestry, the local group already has a very ambitious plan for the year including work on housing and homelessness, health inequality and human rights. This work involves collaboration with other groups, campaigns and expert speakers and is supported and promoted by the group's excellent monthly newsletter called The Leveller which has a healthy circulation.
Moving south, the North Somerset group held a well-attended public meeting with economist Stewart Lansley and Tom Wilkes from the nearby Swindon group as guest speakers. The meeting has energised the group and grown its membership as well as making valuable links with the local media. The group has met subsequently and agreed an action plan for the year, including work on awareness-raising, making links locally with influential people and living wage campaigning. And nearby in Bristol the local group remains busy as shown in this guest blog from Mary Rivers (guest blogs from local groups are very much welcomed by The Equality Trust).
Not far away, the Swindon group is gearing up to support the launch of ‘Spirit of Swindon’ which will take place on March 30th when Bishop Lee Rayfield will speak on the same platform as Stewart Lansley. In the meantime, the group recently participated in the Community Conference organised by the Swindon Equality Coalition and also penned its third article in a local free magazine which focused on local health inequality. Over in Cambridge, the local group has some great initiatives planned, including: A Young People's Assembly (4th March) to engage with millennials on the major issues of the day, a series of high-profile, expert speaker talks based on the theme of imagining what living in a more equal society might look like (May onwards) and also more public engagement around their Cambridge Can Do Better manifesto for the upcoming local elections in May. More information can be found on the group's website.
And, finally, in the capital My Fair London is getting ready for the #OurNHS demo on Saturday 4th March along with staff from The Equality Trust. We are meeting at 12pm outside the Tavistock Hotel in Tavistock Square. All are welcome to join us!
New Groups: We are currently advising potential new start up groups in Oxfordshire and Rhyl If you live in these areas and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.