City Centre

Olalekan, Chris, James, Zeegan and Charlotte talk about fairness in the city

Olalekan My name is Ojerukun Olalekan from Sheffield Hallam University studying a PhD programme in civil engineering.

Chris I’m Chris Duszansky and this is James Walsh.

James I can speak for myself.

Chris No you can’t.

Zeegan I’m a software developer. I was born here but moved when I was nine, came back about six years ago to start a business.

Charlotte My name’s Charlotte. I work at A Month Of Sundays gallery on Sharrow Vale Road and I’m here for somebody’s birthday.

Do you think Sheffield is a fair place to live?

Zeegan Fair… No, because it’s split into two heavily segregated sections, which are the local and the visitor - students.

Charlotte I’d say yes on the whole. Fairer than some places, but there’s definitely a divide.

Chris It depends where in Sheffield you are to be honest. The city centre’s fine, because you get people of kind of all walks of life here, but it’s very segregated in certain bits of Sheffield, I reckon.

Are you aware of any inequality in the city?

Olalekan Not yet, but I’ve heard you know quite a few…

Charlotte I used to work at the library and definitely there, some of the people that come in to sort of use the computers… There’s a lot of people really struggling. Struggling to get help to get help, if you know what I mean.

What do you think causes inequality?

Chris Personal preference and the way you’re brought up.

Olalekan The first point would probably be the race, the background, because people don’t actually understand other races.

On average, a girl born in Ecclesall will live around ten years longer than in one born in Burngreave. Were you aware of this and do you have any idea why?

Zeegan It’s alcoholism. It’s alcohol. That’s it. Sheffield is an alcohol driven city. It’s always been like that. The further out you go, the further into those inner cities you go, then there’s gonna be less importance of life. A lot more depression, a lot more stress. It’s not surprising at all.

Who do you think is treated most unfairly in Sheffield?

Chris Probably alternative people, to be honest, because everyone hates us.

James I’d say between the alternative community and the Muslim community.

Charlotte I’d say probably asylum seekers and refugees.

20% of households in Sheffield are living in relative poverty (household income less than 60% of the national average)

Chris We’ve only just managed to get jobs. I’ve been out of a job since I left my old school. It’s so hard to actually have a job in this competitive market.

Of the eight core English cities, Sheffield has the lowest rate of recorded violence against the person.

Charlotte That’s probably about right though. I feel quite safe in Sheffield. It’s a safe city, on the whole.

Whose responsibility is it to deal with issues of inequality?

Zeegan There should be a joint responsibility – total - and everyone should know their percentage of responsibility.

Charlotte I think the council should take more responsibility than it does to think about the effect that cuts actually have on those people.

James It’s fine to blame the government all day, but we can blame them all we want - they’re not going to do anything about it.

Zeegan We have to look at them [the government] first. They provide us with the tools for education and the tools for commerce and the tools to become financially stable or happy or mentally agile. They don’t though. It’s not their priority. It seems like their priority is keeping their own hands clean.

Chris If we all want to change and if we all want to be equal then that’s something that we need to do as an entire human population. We all need to sit down and not focus on how different we are, but how alike we are.

Charlotte Everybody I think needs to also take a look around and educate themselves on what’s going on in the city.

What is fairness?

Chris Fairness? It’s a very kind of broad question that, to be honest.

Zeegan It’s like a total equality. But what’s fair for one person isn’t fair for another.

Olalekan Fairness means giving equal opportunity.

Charlotte To be able to provide for their families and be safe and feel safe and be able to put a roof over their heads. Just the same for everyone, I think.

We all need to sit down and not focus on how different we are, but how alike we are.

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