New commission to tackle inequality

The question of how equal society is and where inequalities lie will be explored by a new Tackling Inequalities Commission.

Set up by the Shetland Partnership – a joint board including both council and health board representatives – the commission will study key issues between now and December.

It will tackle key issues such as:

• How equal is Shetland society?
• What inequalities exist, and why?
• What kind of impact does any inequality have?
• What needs to be done to reduce any inequalities that do exist?

The SIC political leader Gary Robinson (second from left) and NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh pledge their support for the 'Care.Fair.Share' campaign last year.
The SIC political leader Gary Robinson (second from left) and NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh pledge their support for the ‘Care.Fair.Share’ campaign last year.

The commission will sit for six half-day sessions between July and December, taking evidence from a so-called “broad spectrum” of organisations and individuals.

A final report, including the evidence gathered, potential solutions and recommendations will be published by March next year.

The first session, to be held tomorrow, will focus on understanding and defining inequalities in Shetland. Later sessions will look in more detail at household income, EU, national and regional policy, geography and communities and education, skills and employment.

A group of about 20 people have been invited to participate as commissioners, bringing a mixture of experience, skills and knowledge to the table. They’ve been selected from the local community and from farther afield, with representatives from Cosla, the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish government attending for some sessions.

Chairman of the Shetland Partnership Board and NHS Shetland, Ian Kinniburgh, said inequality was one of the most “pressing issues” facing people in the isles.

“To reduce inequalities across our communities requires a concerted effort and commitment from everyone, which is why the Shetland Partnership is best placed to establish this commission and ensure its recommendations are carried out.”

Vice-chairman Gary Robinson added: “Our commissioners come from all walks of life, and we particularly welcome the input from outside the isles, which will hopefully improve understanding of inequalities in rural areas at a national level.

“Together we will listen to evidence, understand and unpick key issues, and hopefully come up with solutions where any areas of inequality are highlighted. For the first time, we have the opportunity to fully understand the issues faced in Shetland and develop far-reaching recommendations which could have a significant impact on people’s lives.”


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • June 30th, 2015 13:29

    Perhaps sound in theory, but very much looking like the usual waste of time, of those at the top of the pile, talking about those at the bottom of the pile, of whom they know little, and can empathise less, inviting those who will tell them what they want to hear to “inform” them, while wasting an embarrassing amount of money on their own existence, and achieving not much.

  • Johan Adamson

    • July 3rd, 2015 10:01

    Its kinda like the assumption is made that there couldn’t possibly be anyone in Shetland that they don’t know, in the public sector, who could sit on this commission, therefore producing an inequality in being ‘chosen’ (maybe should have been elected, but does that produce a better result?). Its the same when people treat people in high places above others, eg displaying their photos as people of worth, so that they are given more importance than people who are at home, bringing up bairns, caring for others or running the croft, or running their own business; or the elderly who have given service throughout their lives, or someone from an outer isle. But the people not chosen, eg from the Salvation Army, Citizens advice and the ordinary mortals will hopefully be allowed to go along to speak to the commission and contribute to it in that way.


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