City Fairness Commission holds its first meeting

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CLOSING the gap in life expectancy and health levels between different parts of Sheffield was top of the agenda at the first meeting of the city’s new Fairness Committee.

The body includes representatives of health services, the city council, businesses and universities.

Sheffield Council leader, Coun Julie Dore and The Star’s Editor Jeremy Clifford are among those on the panel.

Seven meetings are being held over the coming months to discuss a range of inequalities between different areas of Sheffield and what solutions can be implemented.

Coun Dore said: “The first meeting focused on health inequalities which are a huge problem with a gap of up to a decade in life expectancy between people in different areas.”

The meeting heard evidence from people including academic Professor Danny Dorling and a city GP, about the reasons why people in poorer parts of Sheffield tend to suffer more from health problems than those in affluent areas.

Coun Dore said: “Ideas were raised about how the problem can be solved, including getting people healthier by finding them work.”

The commission aims to look at ‘all issues to find out about ways of reducing inequalities affecting different parts of Sheffield’.

A report will then be compiled, including the evidence heard and giving findings plus possible solutions.

Coun Dore said: “The commission is due to conclude its meetings by August.

“I think it is a really positive move to hold this investigation and help solve serious problems.”