DD1345 Home Office Grant Agreement for London Strategic Migration Partnership

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD1345
Date signed: 
23 June 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

The Home Office funds the Greater London Authority (“GLA”) to lead the London Strategic Migration Partnership (“LSMP”). The purpose of the LSMP is to provide a strategic leadership, advisory, coordination and development function for migration and integration in London. Leading the Partnership enables the GLA to gather better intelligence about migration in London, improve coordination among strategic partners, influence immigration policy and take migration into account in delivering the Mayor’s responsibilities and priorities.

The grant will be utilised on funding full-time staffing resource to support the LSMP and programme expenditure.

The previous agreement covered the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. This decision is to obtain approval for receipt of a new enabling grant agreement for the period from 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016.

Appendix A is the letter from the Home Office confirming LSMP funding for 2015–16.

Appendix B is the grant agreement for the period 1 April 2015–31 March 2016.

Decision

That the Executive Director approves:

    acceptance and receipt of £64,000 of funding from the Home Office; and
    expenditure of the same to lead the London Strategic Migration Partnership for 2015-16.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Home Office funds the Greater London Authority (“GLA”) to lead the London Strategic Migration Partnership (“LSMP”), which is chaired by the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture. The previous grant agreement was for £80,000 and covered the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.  During that period the GLA, members of the LSMP and other stakeholders worked towards implementing London Enriched, the Mayor’s integration strategy for refugees and migrants. 

1.2    A new grant agreement will fund the GLA at £64,000 in 2015/16 to lead the LSMP as part of the Home Office’s support for regional strategic migration partnerships across the UK. The reduction in grant funding reflects the wider Home Office cuts to Strategic Migration Partnerships. £60,000 of the grant will continue to fund staffing resources, in line with previous years. The remaining £4,000 will be directed to programme costs. 

1.3    The funding for 2015/16 has been confirmed in writing by the Home Office (Appendix A). As lead organisation, the GLA undertakes to coordinate the activities of the LSMP. The purpose of the LSMP is to provide a strategic leadership, advisory, coordination and development function for migration and integration in London.  The LSMP brings together regional bodies from all sectors with a role in promoting the benefits of migration and minimising any adverse impacts. The work of the LSMP is also informed by the Mayor’s Migrant and Refugee Advisory Panel (“MRAP”) whose members are migrants, refugees and asylum seekers 

1.4    Following an independent review of the LSMP, the LSMP’s mandate and terms of reference will be updated to cover the full spectrum of migration in London to reflect the GLA’s shared objectives with the Home Office – ensuring London remains internationally competitive and supporting people to integrate. Critically, the LSMP will also take a much stronger role in building a picture of migration in London in order to understand and anticipate present and future strategic opportunities and challenges to London.

1.5    The LSMP’s strength will continue to be its unique ability to bring together the key London stakeholders to maintain strategic oversight of the state of migration in London.  The review found oversight of migration issues as they impact London important, but acknowledged that it is not relevant to all the players around the table. To ensure that LSMP remains strategic and relevant to stakeholders, its core membership will be revised to reflect those with a strategic role in the full spectrum of migration in London.   

1.6    Themed meetings will also be introduced to ensure that discussions are focused and bring together the right people, enabling a wider range of stakeholders with an interest in a particular aspect of migration to attend. The proposed three themed meetings in 2015/16 are: London migration demography and trends (chaired by Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture); integration (chaired by Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture); visas and economic growth (chaired by Chief Economic Advisor). 

1.7    The Diversity and Social Policy team (DSP) will share responsibility with the Economic and Business Policy Unit (EBPU) to deliver the themed meetings and associated workstreams.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The LSMP’s objectives for 2015/16, as set out in the business plan under discussion with the Home Office are as follows:

    Deliver effective pan-London stakeholder engagement for UKVI and GLA on immigration 
    Provide opportunity for strategic insight to the challenges for migrants and refugees in the Capital 
    Develop strategic leadership across London for the integration priorities of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) 
    Support creative and cultural sectors to work with international talent in London 
    Support UKVI engagement with its business customers 
    Support the growth of spin outs and micro SMEs, particularly in life science and technology but with wider transfer across the knowledge economy, by enabling the recruitment and retention of international talent.
    Identify visa policy and operational issues through consultation with London business and education providers to strengthen London’s competitiveness.
    Ensure tourist and other short term visitor opportunities maximise the global position of London to the UK’s economy.

Equality comments

3.1    The LSMP promotes equality for refugees and vulnerable migrants. Its work is informed and supported by the MRAP, which has representation from a range of refugee and migrant communities.  The work programme takes into account specific groups of refugees and migrants in relation to protected characteristics as issues arise. Key areas of focus include integration. The LSMP’s focus on these areas is aligned to the Equality Act 2010, namely to work to ensure development and implementation of national and local policies which advance equality of opportunity for migrants and refugees and foster good relations between communities. 

Other considerations

4.1    Key risks and issues 
Grant funding is agreed on an annual basis and there is no guarantee that funding will be provided for 2016-17 or future years. 

4.2    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities:

    GLA Business Plan, 2013 – 2016.
    Equal Life Chances for All, the Mayor’s framework for Equality.
    The Mayor’s strategy for refugee and migrant integration, London Enriched.
    The London Culture Strategy.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA’s entry into a grant funding agreement with the Home Office for receipt of £64,000 to assist in the work streams associated with the LSMP in the 2015/16 financial-year. 

5.2    The receipt of the Home Office Grant of £64,000 will be accounted for within the Health & Communities Unit and will be utilised on funding staffing resource to support the LSMP and programme expenditure, for which approval is also being sought for the entry into all associated contracts and agreements as required during the course of the 2015/16 financial-year. 

5.3    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the GLA’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.4    The Diversity & Social Policy Unit within the Health & Communities Unit will be responsible for managing this programme and ensuring all expenditure and associated contracts / agreements adhere to the GLA’s Financial Regulations, Contracts & Funding Code, Expenses & Benefits Framework and Funding Agreement Toolkit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Business Plan delivery start date

1st April 2015

6 month evaluation review

31st October 2015

Business Plan delivery completion date

31st March 2016

End of year report for 2015-16

30th June 2016