Dundee Fairness Commission
2019 - 2021 Commission
When this commission started in 2019, they followed a similar structure to the previous commission. Commissioners shared stories, decided what issues to address and built relationships. Late 2019 the Commissioners chose 3 themes: Disability; Food & Fuel Poverty and Treatment from Staff.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened.
Commissioners reassessed the themes they wanted to explore during the summer of 2020 and decided that it was not the right time to explore the way staff treat people (with a particular focus on the DWP), but that mental health and well-being was, again, a core issue, similar to the 2017-2018 commission. The Commission produced a Relaunch Report in August 2020, to show the journey they took during the early stages of the pandemic.
"I’m worried about what affects this will have on my community. All of the usual problems of life are still happening. And then you have the fear of this virus on top of things. It’s a lot." - Community Commissioner
"I was always invested in the work we were undertaking as a subgroup around food and fuel poverty. My experiences through Lockdown have cemented that determination to do all that I can to support communities to change the narrative we have in the city of poverty in these areas." - Civic Commissioner
During August 2020 the Commissioners conducted a city-wide survey around their themes:
Mental Health & Well-Being
Food & Fuel Poverty
452 people from across Dundee took part in this survey. The commission had analysis support from:
The Senior Research and Information Officer, Research and Information Team, Dundee City Council
The Senior Public Health Officer, Directorate of Public Health, NHS Tayside
The Health Intelligence Manager, NHS Tayside
The Community Health Inequalities Manager, Housing and Communities/ Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership
With that support, the Commission produced a comprehensive report identifying the key challenges people in Dundee are facing during the pandemic. You can read the report here. This also gave the working groups a clear way forward as they moved into the community research phase of the Commission.
Over the past 6 months the working groups have been meeting with individuals and organisations to deepen their understanding of these issues and to listen to people with lived experience to hear their ideas and solutions. Each Working Group is in the final stages of developing key recommendations to be presented at their Final Event and also to the Dundee Partnership in May 2021.
The Mental Health Working Group have been exploring:
Employability services and support for people struggling with mental health
Anxiety of Covid messaging and involvement of people with lived experience in the design of messaging
Social isolation and loneliness – the priority groups and what might help as we move towards recovery
The impact financial uncertainty has on people’s mental health and wellbeing
The Disability Working Group have been exploring:
Disability health and support services stopped suddenly during lockdown and this has had detrimental effects on people's daily lives
People with disabilities still not getting all the benefits they are entitled to because there is a stigma and fear around the DWP
What will supporting people with the PIP system look like until it is replaced by Social Security Scotland.
The Food & Fuel Working Group have been exploring:
Fuel cost have increased because people have to stay home more during the pandemic.
People are unaware of the fuel support and schemes that are available and end up in fuel debt
People’s housing situation impacts their fuel costs
Over the next couple months, each working group will begin to finalise their recommendations. They will gather feedback from key stakeholders in the city that will be able to move these recommendations into action.
Dundee Poverty Profile
OF EMPLOYEES EARNING LESS THAN THE LIVING WAGE
OF HOUSEHOLDS EXPERIENCE BOTH LOW INCOME AND MATERIAL DEPRIVATION
OF HOUSEHOLDS ARE FUEL POOR
OF HOUSEHOLDS HAVE NO SAVINGS TO FALL BACK ON
OF THE POPULATION ARE IN WORKLESS HOUSEHOLDS
CHILDREN LIVING IN OUT OF WORK BENEFIT CLAIMANT HOUSEHOLDS
For more poverty statistics on the City of Dundee, view this report