ADD2331 Immigration White Paper - consultation and engagement

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2331
Date signed: 
28 February 2019
Decision by: 
Julia Slay, Assistant Director for Communities and Social Policy

Executive summary

The Social Integration Team seeks approval to spend £32,000 to support a programme of consultation with expert stakeholders across sectors at a crucial stage of national immigration policy change. The next 12 months provide a unique opportunity for the GLA to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to collect more comprehensive and detailed evidence on the impacts of immigration policy and the Mayor’s response to this crucial area of Social Integration policy.

The funding will provide for a consultant to work with teams across the GLA to map and prioritise the wide range of issues and questions that stakeholders are raising, exploring cross-cutting policy issues related to the proposals in the Immigration White Paper, proactively engage with a wide range of stakeholders, and produce a report to inform the Mayor’s position.

Decision

That the Assistant Director for Communities and Intelligence approves:

Expenditure of £32,000 on consultancy services to support a programme of consultation with expert stakeholders across sectors on immigration policy.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Government has published an Immigration White Paper outlining its future approach to immigration after the 31st December 2020, the currently planned end to the transition period as the UK prepares to leave the EU. This is the single largest change to immigration policy since the adoption of freedom of movement in the EU. A year of ‘extensive engagement’ will now follow before Immigration Rules are published. The White Paper notes that this engagement is a ‘vital avenue through which to explore and consider the social and economic needs of all parts of the UK.’

The Home Affairs Committee has criticised the Government for making “no attempt … to build consensus, nor to consult with the public about the decisions that must be made and the trade-offs our country faces”. The next 12 months provide a unique opportunity for the GLA to engage with a wide range of stakeholders to collect more comprehensive and detailed evidence on the impacts of immigration policy.

The GLA has already worked closely with businesses to respond to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) investigation of Brexit’s impact on the UK labour market. The Social Integration Team support vulnerable migrants through the EU Londoners Hub, the London Strategic Migration Partnership and the Citizenship and Integration Initiative. Work is also underway within the Skills and Employment directorate to create a robust evidence base on the skills need for London.

However, a holistic organisational approach to this policy area would be valuable. A consultant could fill gaps in capacity and immigration expertise in some teams, ensure consistency of engagement with stakeholders, explore cross-cutting issues such as exploitation and social integration which might otherwise be overlooked, and to effectively draw together these strands of work to ensure the work is representative. This work will enable the GLA to have a comprehensive evidence base on immigration, and to more effectively reflect the views of a wide range of stakeholders in the capital.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Consultant commissioned to provide capacity and expertise to the organisation engaging a wide range of stakeholders on immigration and integration policy. This consultant will:

• Coordinate and manage a programme of consultation with expert stakeholders across sectors, using existing forums wherever possible and working with/building on the existing expertise and stakeholder strategies in teams.
• Explore cross cutting policy issues within team’s existing engagement and evidence gathering
• Create a report with detailed analysis of the evidence collected through the consultation, looking at the crossover between different sectors and identifying opportunities, challenges and priorities for London to inform the GLA’s response to the Immigration White Paper
• Support to develop proposals to engage more Londoners in policy conversations about Brexit and Immigration through deep community engagement

A comprehensive and cross cutting report on the impact of the Immigration White Paper proposals for London and Londoners.

Extensive engagement with stakeholders and Londoners themselves on immigration and integration.

Equality comments

This programme aims to highlight and explore the equality, integration and inclusion implications of the Immigration White Paper proposals, ensuring these issues are comprehensively explored in conversations with stakeholders.

In order to ensure the highest standards of equality, diversity and inclusion are upheld, the GLA will use outreach and engagement approaches to target activities at particular groups that are less able to engage or face greater barriers to engagement to enable them to participate, whilst ensuring that activities are open and accessible to all Londoners. The procurement process will make clear that contractors need to comply with the GLA’s Equality duties.

Other considerations
  1. Key risks and issues

 

Risk

Mitigation measures

Current probability (1-4)

Current impact

(1-4)

GLA Lead

Unable to commission consultant with the right expertise to lead this work

Broad engagement to encourage applications for the work from a range of experts. Proactive project management within the social integration team to ensure project meets needs of GLA 

2

4

Social Integration

Team

Work doesn’t meet the needs of all GLA teams/conflicts with existing priorities and research

The consultant will provide regular progress reports to senior officers within the GLA, and will proactively work in partnership with team’s existing expertise and research priorities

3

3

Social Integration Team

Policy related to Brexit could change quickly, depending on the outcome of negotiations

Consultant will be commissioned with a flexible contract so that work could change focus if necessary.

3

2

Social Integration Team

 

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

 

This work forms part of the Mayor’s Social Integration Strategy, to remove barriers to integration relating to ability to access legal rights to citizenship and residence.

 

c) Impact assessments and consultations.

 

This work relates to a desire to consult more closely with stakeholders and with Londoners to understand the impact of the proposals in the Immigration White Paper.

Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £32,000, will be funded from the 2018-19 Social Integration budget held within the Communities and Social Policy Unit.

Activity table

 

Activity

Timeline

1

Competitive procurement exercise

w/c 25 Feb 2019

2

Appointment of consultant

w/c 25 March

3

Commence detailed scoping work across the GLA’s immigration policy and expertise

April 2019

4

Commence gap analysis in stakeholder engagement, develop relationships and organise roundtables to promote those conversations

April 2019

5

Commence community engagement activities with Londoners and make further recommendations for deeper engagement

May 2019

7

Produce interim report to inform the GLA’s high level response to the Immigration White Paper proposals

August 2019

8

Final report with detailed positions on immigration policy

October 2019


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