Venue: Virtual meeting on MS Teams
Contact: Tim Murtagh Email: email@example.com
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Southwark Brexit Panel meeting.
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Linforth-Hall and Ochere.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS
Members to declare any interests and dispensations in respect of any item
of business to be considered at this meeting.
There were none.
To agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 27 April 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held on 27 April 2021 were agreed as a correct record.
Brexit Update Report
To note the report and discuss the following:
- Ongoing impact of Brexit on residents and EUSS
- Update on UKSPF
- Ongoing impact of Brexit on business
- Agreement on next steps
Matthew Rolfe presented the report contained in the agenda.
The panel discussed issues around the EU settlement scheme, including rights to work, Government funding, post-deadline submissions of evidence, cases from vulnerable people often on benefits.
The panel also discussed:
- the work of the Southwark Law Centre
- the continued need to provide support for cases that were often complicated. Immigration lawyers were oversubscribed.
- Home Office funding was essential to the work being carried out. Concerns were expressed over what would happen when that funding ends or is cut.
- the skills strategy and skills training to meet residents employment and business needs including building, hospitality and healthcare sectors.
- The UK shared prosperity fund as part of the broader levelling up strategy.
The Brexit Panel made the following points/recommendations to the Home Office:
1. Ask for long-term sustainable funding to support the provision of legal advice around the EU settlement scheme.
2. Recognising the impact of digital exclusion and the effect that is having on people applying. Put in place measures to support people digitally excluded.
3. Request for data on those who have not applied but are eligible to apply for the settlement scheme.
4. To note the impact of mental health on residents and ask for extra funding to mitigate that support locally.
5. Could BRPs (Biometric Residence Permits) be issued to vulnerable people especially those with mental health issues (that would cut need for indefinite need from some organisations).
6. Ask that the amount in the shared prosperity fund at least match what was in the previous European structural fund and that the criteria for location be the same as with the European structural fund.