Camden Council has implemented an 'equality taskforce' following research conducted in collaboration with the Young Foundation providing insight into how cuts are affecting vulnerable people in the borough.
The Foundation released its interim findings from research which included shadowing Camden residents for a day to experience their lives. In addition they spoke with over 100 people who are either disabled, young or from families on low incomes, in focus groups and in one-on-one interviews, to see how the cuts are beginning to 'bite'.
The results showed that the majority of those questioned had been affected by more than one cut, often involving housing benefits or cuts to services. It also showed that feelings of fear and isolation were common, with increasing worry about the rising cost of food or bills and financial insecurity.
The Foundation hopes to continue its research by following the participants over the next two to three years "to fully understand the nature of the impact of the cuts on their lives". Submissions close on 14 August.
Councillor Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council recognised the difficulties facing her residents: "While many of our residents enjoy a good quality of life, there is deprivation in parts of Camden which means that far too many people face reduced life chances."
Following the interim report Camden Council has launched a taskforce chaired by Naomi Eisenstadt, senior research fellow in education and social policy at the University of Oxford, the first director of the Sure Start Unit.
Eisenstadt said: "Camden's commitment to tackling inequality is particularly important at a time of economic recession and public sector spending cuts. The taskforce's distinct focus on the role of local public services in eliminating discrimination, improving the capabilities of residents and ultimately improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged makes this work very exciting."
The taskforce will draw on a number of independent advisors and Eisenstadt will work closely with Hayward, the Council advises. It will undertake more thorough research creating dialogue with members of the community, groups and national experts over the coming months.