In Practice: Addressing inequality in Islington

About the project

Made up of 15 members, the Islington Inequality Taskforce was established to develop recommendations for how Islington Council could address inequality and poverty, taking account of residents’ hopes and aspirations. New Local facilitated the meetings of the Islington Inequality Taskforce. This culminated in a report produced by New Local which recommended building community agency as a route to a tackling poverty and inequality in the borough.

How we did it

  • New Local designed and facilitated the meetings of the Islington Inequality Taskforce. This was led by New Local’s Chief Executive, Adam Lent.
  • The Taskforce met five times online and in person over a period of nine months. This included three, three-hour workshops.
  • We worked closely with Islington Council to generate data and information required by the Taskforce, including presenting the latest findings from a large scale engagement exercise at each meeting.
  • As discussions and recommendations of the Taskforce evolved, we undertook a review of the relevant academic and grey literature on the issue of community agency, poverty and inequality.
  • New Local produced a report on behalf of the Islington Inequality Taskforce, collaborating closely with Taskforce members on its development.

What was achieved

The Taskforce proposed that Islington Council’s work on inequality should focus on the goal of significantly enhancing the sense of individual and collective agency in the borough, particularly for those facing poverty. It outlined a series of practical steps Islington Council could take to work in partnership with communities and local VCSE organisations to action this and the capability building required to support it.

Islington Council has since published its Islington Together Plan 2030, identifying power and agency as one of the key dimensions of inequality. Included within its five missions to create a more equal future for Islington is Fairer Together which commits to work in partnership with communities to tackle issues that are important to them.

“Working with New Local on the Inequality Task Force was a really transformative experience and the recommendations that came out of the process have fundamentally shaped our thinking about how the council needs to work as an organisation going forwards to ensure best outcomes for our residents. We know it’s just the start of a journey to firmly placing communities at the heart of everything we do at Islington, but New Local and the expertise and energy they brought to the task force was really critical to kickstarting that shift.”

Hayley Simms, Head of Strategy and Engagement, Islington Council

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