Inequality targeted by new action group

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 February 2017

roberthyrons

An action group has been formed to tackle ‘social injustice’ in North Somerset, which is one of the most unequal districts in England according to council figures.

Equality North Somerset met for the first time this week at The Salvation Army Hall in Weston for a lecture on inequality, with members hoping to make a dent in the inequality gap in North Somerset.

The group – which is affiliated with charity The Equality Trust – hosted economist Stewart Lansley, of Bristol University, and leader of Swindon Equality Group Tom Wilkes, who spoke on inequality and advised the action group on how inequality could be tackled in North Somerset.

North Somerset Council figures suggest the district is the third most unequal district in England, with five areas of Central and South ward among the most deprived five per cent in the country.

Conversely, 11 more affluent areas in the district are in the bottom five per cent for deprivation nationally.

In December, the Mercury reported similar inequality in life expectancy, with the average male life span varying by as much as 14 years across the district.

Spokesman for the group, Louise Branch, said: “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of social injustice at the moment but I think there was a strong message from both of our speakers.

“There are things we can all do to make a difference and I hope that people are now feeling fired up and want to join us.

“Our group is in its infancy but the intention is to hold a meeting in the next two weeks to plan some actions.

“I’m not an expert on why North Somerset is so unequal, but I think it must be wrong and we should be addressing it.”

Ms Branch added the group is hoping to campaign for a ‘real living wage’ after the lecture struck a chord with the fledgling group’s members.

To find out more, go online to equalitynorthsomerset.wordpress.com or find Equality North Somerset on Facebook.

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