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11 June 2015

Thursday 11 June 2015 

I’m really proud and excited to be a commissioner on the London Fairness Commission as we ignite a public debate about what fairness means to London. The Commission, comprised of experts from across the worlds of business, research, health and charity, is asking three simple questions:

1. What is fairness?

2. Is London fair?

3. Should we be trying to make London a fairer city?

We will then present our findings to the public and policy-makers, and conclude our conversations with plans for action to make London a fairer city.

When launching this discussion about fairness in our capital, we heard from two passionate young Londoners. The debate was framed by Fateha Begum and Francis Augusto, who both sit on our Talent Match London Youth board. They attended the Commission’s launch yesterday morning where they both shared their own experience on stage with guests.

Talking about her family being forced to leave their housing, Fateha said:

“We had three choices which were that we could: 1) leave London as housing outside of London is more affordable; 2) refuse to leave the current property; or 3) go private. It was not really a choice but rather it felt as though they were imposing what they felt right for us. It was not about growth, equality or unity. We did not feel part of a community that would aid each other in building a bright future. At that point, I realised how unfair London can be to those who are young people and their families that come from the lower classes and lack the knowledge that the upper classes would have at their hands.

“The moral of my story is that there is a huge division for those that can afford and for those that cannot.Is it fair that house prices are so high? Is it fair that that we divide people? Is it fair that young people and the future generations have to grow up in an unfair London?”

Francis, speaking about his experiences of paths after education, said:

"I had to make a choice. Do I conform and do what the school and careers advisor told me to do or something else? Law and estate agency were too academic and boring, whilst the retail and restaurant industry seemed like they wouldn't challenge me at all. Often young people are categorised and not given the opportunities to choose their path and truly own their support system.”

Above are just two examples of young Londoners and their experience of living, learning and developing in London. The London Fairness Commission isn’t just about them or the Commissioners involved, and how we believe London can become a fairer city. We want to hear your ideas about what fairness means in London, whether London is a fair city, and what would make our capital a fairer city. You can submit your views and experiences to the Commission here.