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Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission delivers report

PUBLISHED: 17:44 30 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:44 30 September 2013

Giles Fraser at the launch of the Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission last year

Giles Fraser at the launch of the Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission last year

Archant

Big businesses have been challenged to play a more active role in making our society fairer in a new report into inequality.

Giles Fraser, who is chairing the Tower Hamlets fairness commissionGiles Fraser, who is chairing the Tower Hamlets fairness commission

The independent Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission published its findings this week after spending almost a year focusing on wealth distribution in the borough.

In particular, it highlighted the need for cash to be raked in by the banks and law firms of Canary Wharf to be shared more evenly between the borough’s population.

The Commission’s chair, the former Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral Dr Giles Fraser, said: “The council is getting less and less money to do their work, and if there’s going to be some of this stuff done, business needs to have a greater role in addressing the social issues in places in which they locate themselves.”

Recommendations include a call for businesses to help 25 per cent of young people get “aspirational” work experience placements, and for all employers in the borough to start paying workers a “London living wage”.

It also called for free access to Wifi across the East End, and for a clampdown on high interest payday loan companies and betting shops.

Dr Fraser thanked Tower Hamlets Council for accepting the report – but piled on the pressure for it to act upon the Commission’s findings.

“In a sense our role is done and I am looking forward to seeing how this gets picked up by the council which has received this report with interest,” he said.

“They have been reasonably receptive, but now’s the time to see if they put their money where their mouth is.”

Other Commissioners included poverty charity Toynbee Hall’s chief Graham Fisher, who said organisations such as his are looking forward to putting plans into action. He highlighted the recommendation for a “jobs exchange”, aiming to help local residents into jobs in the borough.

“At Toynbee Hall we agree it’s time to act: and we are committed to leading activity with our partners that will make a tangible difference to people’s lives.”

For more information, and to read the full report, visit: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/community_and_living/fairness_commission.aspx

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