Croydon Council is spending £200,000 on setting up a commission to try and improve the quality of life for residents.

The Fairness Commission, which was approved at a cabinet meeting on Monday night, will be made up of people from outside the council, including from private and voluntary sector organisations.

Its task will be to produce a report with recommendations about how to reduce inequality and poverty in the borough.

Council leader Councillor Tony Newman said: “We’re all too aware there are areas of the borough, and communities within those areas, that do suffer inequalities – be it in matters of health, prosperity, job prospects or life opportunity.

“It’s simply unacceptable that we still have a nine-year life expectancy gap between Fieldway and Selsdon and Ballards wards.

“Taking appropriate action will see an improvement in the quality of life for everybody who lives in Croydon, and take the borough forward in terms of equality and fairness for all.”

The idea was heavily criticised by the Conservatives who said it was unnecessary to spend the money and that the commission would be filled with “Labour cronies”.