Accessibility statement

Independent commission places wellbeing and equality at heart of public policy

Posted on 26 March 2021

An independent commission, chaired by Professor Kate Pickett from University of York, has set out a range of measures for transforming public policy related to inequalities.

The Commission looked at inequalities across Greater Manchester

The Independent Inequalities Commission was launched in October 2020 with a six-month mission to examine inequalities across the Greater Manchester city-region, and consider how they should be tackled.

Recommendations include strengthening the mandate of equalities panels; establishing an independent Anti-Discrimination body; working with education and training providers to bridge the skills divide; and community wealth building and investment initiatives. They also call for a target of 2030 being set for every employer in Greater Manchester to pay a living wage and offer living hours to employees.

Their findings highlight a range of progressive actions already being taken in Greater Manchester and elsewhere and consider how they can be embedded within public service delivery at all levels, responding to the immediate challenges of the pandemic and new ways of doing things in the future.

Good lives

Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of York, and Chair of the Independent Inequalities Commission, said: “The Commission applauds Greater Manchester for breaking new ground in its ambition to tackle the root causes of inequalities and create good lives for everyone.  

“Our report sets out a vision for the city-region, outlines actions that can be taken now, and provides inspiration for a fairer future.  We hope that our proposals will take Greater Manchester to the next level in creating a good life for all.”

During their six-month investigation the Commission took stock of existing evidence and good practice, engaging with stakeholders in the business, public, voluntary and community sectors.


This included collaborative work between Greater Manchester and the Marmot Team at the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, which builds on the Marmot Review to narrow the gap in health outcomes experienced by the most disadvantaged families and communities by focusing on the social determinants of health.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I want to thank Prof Kate Pickett and all of the Commissioners for bringing their insight, expertise, and diligence to this task. They have made a set of challenging but practical recommendations. It’s up to all of us to take those ideas forward and make sure we bring those benefits to everyone.”

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