Join up for fairer town

Blackpool Council Simon Blackburn
Blackpool Council Simon Blackburn
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VOLUNTEERS are being urged to join a new Fairness Commission being set up in Blackpool.

The council revealed in September its plans to set up the project designed to give residents a stronger voice in town hall affairs.

Among the roles being set out for the commission are to lobby for Blackpool at national level, improve local engagement with the town hall and find new ways of working with other groups.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “The idea of the commission is to find new ways to improve the quality of life by making Blackpool a fair place for everyone that lives or works here.

“We want as many as people as possible to get involved. In particular we need motivated and committed representatives across public, private, voluntary and community areas to come forward and take on the role of a Fairness Commissioner. It doesn’t matter how big or small the business or community group you work or volunteer for is, we want you to be involved.

“Commissioners have a key role to play in improving fairness in Blackpool.

“Commissioners will attend meetings to discuss key issues, they will engage with local people, undertake reviews, produce recommendations to improve the quality of life for everyone in the town and take responsibility for implementing recommendations in the areas or organisations they represent.“

The executive committee is being asked to formally endorse the plans when it meets next Wednesday.

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Volunteers have until January 31 to apply.

Applicants will be expected to already have a leadership role in the town or represent key sectors or groups, and councillors will be among those encouraged to apply.

The initiative has come under attack from Conservative councillors including former leader Coun Peter Callow who claimed more cash and resources would be channelled into deprived areas at the expense of more affluent wards in the town.

But Labour council leader Coun Simon Blackburn denied funding would be increased in some geographic areas, and said the aim was to involve more people in decision-making.

Consultation has taken place through area panels, area forums and with organisations including the police and NHS Blackpool.

Liverpool, York and Islington in London already have a fairness commission.

People can apply to be a commissioner, which is a voluntary role, by filling in an application form available at www.blackpoolfairness.wordpress.com, or request a form through the post by contacting fairness@blackpool.co.uk.