International Conference To Take Place In York


City of York Council will host an International Fairness Conference  to discuss the issue of poverty and the role of place to promote fairness.


The event, which will take place at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York on Monday 9 June, will take on the fairness agenda by bringing together politicians, academics, civic leaders, ambassadors of business and voices from the community to prompt a fresh approach to the debate.

The conference comes off the back of the successful Fairness Commission which was set up in 2011 and saw York become the first city in Yorkshire to make a commitment to become a Living Wage City.

The event will take place between 9am and 5pm will see sessions on communities and fairness, what entails ‘good growth’, views from the community of York, lessons from Europe and the role of civic leaders in the challenges of the future. For those unable to attend the event will be live webcast at

Speakers at the event will include:

  • The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
  • Cllr Julie Dore – Leader, Sheffield City Council 
  • Cllr Simon Blackburn – Leader, Blackpool Council
  • Cllr James Alexander – Leader, City of York Council
  • Cllr Marco Cereste – Leader, Peterborough City Council
  • Henk Kool – Deputy Mayor of the Hague
  • Kate Green MP – Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty, Stretford & Urmston
  • Debbie Abraham MP – Member of the Work & Pensions Select Committee, Oldham East & Saddleworth
  • Hugh Bayley MP – York Central
  • Alison Garnham – CEO, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Sharon Allen – Chief Executive, Skills for Care
  • Professor Kate Pickett – University of York and Co-Author of ’The Spirit Level’

The event will close with a roundtable of civic leaders from the UK and Europe who will discuss how the role of place can be used to promote Fairness.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “I believe that if we want to see York prosper and flourish we must look to reduce the societal divide that currently exists. It is our duty and our responsibility. “The Fairness Commission”, an independent advisory body, was set up to examine matters of social justice in York, to explore the issues and to engage with all sectors of the City in bringing about a more equal society.  This international conference offers the opportunity for local residents, business leaders, voluntary organisations, academics and civic leaders to look again at delivering a more caring, more cohesive society and a fairer City of York.”

Councillor James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council said: “This conference is a product of the hard work of York’s Fairness Commission, and is an excellent opportunity to showcase York’s place as a leading centre for the fairness agenda. This event comes from working with partners across the city and I am looking forward to welcoming civic leaders, charities, academics and businesses from across the UK and Europe, as well as members of York’s community to this conference. I am hoping the day will provide an important forum to discuss and plan how we can work together to overcome the challenges to promoting fairness in the future.”


Full Speaker List:

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu – The Archbishop of York

Henk Kool - Deputy Mayor of the Hague

Mayor Stevče Jakimovski - Mayor of Karpos, Skopje, Macedonia

Cllr James Alexander – Leader of City of York Council

Cllr Julie Dore - Leader of Sheffield City Council

Cllr Simon Blackburn - Leader of Blackpool Council

Cllr Marco Cereste - Leader of Peterborough City Council

Hugh Bayley MP

Kate Green MP

Debbie Abrahams MP

Kersten England - Chief Executive, City of York Council

Julia Unwin – Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust

Professor Kate Pickett - Professor of Epidemiology at the Department of Health Sciences, University of York

Rhys Moore – Director, Living Wage Foundation

Sue Cooke - Head of Skills and Enterprise, Leeds City Region Partnerships and LEP

Maureen O’Neill - President of the Social Affairs Section in the European Economic and Social Committee

Alison Garnham - Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group

Sharon Allen - Chief Executive Officer of Skills for Care

Professor Alan Walker - Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology at the University of Sheffield

Ruth Redfern - Director of Communities, Transformation and Change at Kirklees Council

Geraldine Howley - Chief Executive of Incommunities

Eddy Adams - Public policy adviser, consultant and writer

Tracey Robbins - Programme Manager, Neighbourhood Approaches to Loneliness Programme at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Dr Rowland Atkinson - Director of the Research Centre for the Social Sciences at the University of York

Atie Hoekman – Policy Advisor, City of Delft (the Netherlands).

Professor Giovanni Allegretti - Architect, planner and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies

Professor Stephen Smith - Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Policy at the University of South Wales

Liz Richardson - Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester

Tracey Ralph Headteacher & Westfield Primary School

David Ellis Headteacher & York High School

Sophie Jewett  - Owner, York Cocoa House


The council’s five key priorities for 2011-2015 are:

·        Create jobs and grow the economy

·        Get York moving

·        Build strong communities

·        Protect vulnerable people

·        Protect the environment