Saturday 20 July 2019

EMC Support to Member Organisations for 2018-19

Over the last year, EMC has continued its focus on the four pillars approach; an all-member organisation, policy development, collective work and lobbying, and better communication with our membership.  In total, £778,000 savings were secured on behalf of councils in membership, 1700 councillor and officer places taken on EMC policy and skills development programmes, and direct organisational/HR support provided to over 19 councils.

Looking ahead, further work will focus on those issues recently emphasised by Councils.  This will include progressing Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine proposals; continuing efforts to secure greater investment into the East Midlands; providing a platform for councillors’ leadership on key issues, including refugee and asylum resettlement; and continuing the comprehensive councillor and officer development programme.

Political Respresentation and Engagement

Supporting Elected Members

Supporting officers

Human Resources (HR) Support    

Professional Learning and Development Support

Coaching and Mentoring

EMC coordinates the East Midlands Coaching Network which helps authorities build internal coaching capacity and enable people to access trained and experienced coaches from other local authorities and partner organisations to support performance, improvement and personal development at very low cost. www.emcouncils.gov.uk/East-Midlands-Coaching-Network

EMC also provide Coaching and Mentoring Support outside of the network.

Information Security Support  

EMC support member authorities through a scheme that allows access to an information security breach warning service, along with a network for IT Security officer that supports the facilitation of discussion and sharing of information.

www.emcouncils.gov.uk/EMGWARP-Network

 

Strategic Influence / Adding Value

EMC provides regional leadership on Hs2, asylum and refugee resettlement, supports the leading role of councils on Midlands Connect and the Midlands Engine; is a key partner to DfT on the East Midlands Rail Franchise process and continues its important role as the regional employers’ body. 

As an ‘all-member organisation’; EMC routinely offers all councillors and officers in the region opportunities to attend our policy briefing, skills development and training events with 1700 councillors and officer places taken throughout 2018/19.  We have continued to offer advice, access to low cost services and capacity support; and all councils in membership accessed at least one of these discounted services, for example, EMC undertook 19 different service-specific projects for councils in the region and over the past year delivered £780,000 of savings to our member councils – a return of over 3 to 1 against total member subscriptions.

Working with MPs

EMC in conjunction with the East Midlands Chambers of Commerce has supported the East Midlands All Party Parliamentary Group, including the continued work for the incremental upgrade and electrification of the Midland Mainline, securing wider infrastructure investment and growth through Midlands Engine/Connect and affordable housing challenges and opportunities for the region.

www.emcouncils.gov.uk/Working-with-East-Midlands-MPs

Midlands Engine

With councils and LEPs across the region, EMC has taken a lead role in shaping emerging proposals and work programmes of the Midlands Engine.  This work has the firm backing of Government; the partnership has successfully secured £4m from Government to support the development of the Midlands Engine, with council leaders being members of the Supervisory Board, and EMC taking lead responsibilities on the development of the industrial strategy and Midlands Engine Action Plan; we have continued to ensure that the region’s interests are reflected in the work programme of the Midlands Engine.

In order to reflect sector priorities, a strong focus of the work of EMC has been upon supporting economic growth. In this regard, the following work is highlighted to member councils: 

HS2 in the East Midlands

  • EMC has worked closely with councils, LEPs and other stakeholders to take forward the East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy which sets out proposals to use HS2 investment in the East Midlands to create an additional 74,000 jobs and £4 billion of GVA across the region. As well as implementing a new delivery focused governance structure, EMC has facilitated dialogue between council leaders and Chair of HS2 and Ministers on key mitigation issues, promoted the development on local connectivity proposals to ensure that all parts of the East Midlands have the opportunity to benefit from HS2 investment.
  • EMC has continued to work as part of the HS2 East Partnership to promote the delivery of the Eastern Leg of HS2 and the improved connectivity to the North East and Scotland. Further information is available at: http://www.hs2east.co.uk/

Midlands Connect & TfEM

  • EMC has worked at both an executive and political level with the West Midlands to take forward the Midlands Connect Strategy which prioritises key regional infrastructure priorities as part of a long term strategic investment programme to boost connectivity across the Midlands.
  • Through Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM), EMC has agreed six joint investment priorities with Midlands Connect: Making the Most of HS2, Midland Mainline fit for the 21st Century; Access to East Midlands Airport; A46 Growth Corridor & Newark; A5 Growth Corridor & East West Connectivity.  

East Midlands Rail Franchise

  • EMC has continued to work in partnership with the DfT on the East Midlands Rail Franchise Competition to ensure that future rail services meet the needs of communities and businesses across the East Midlands and help to deliver the Midlands Engine agenda.
  • With additional support from the region’s LTAs, EMC has seconded a staff resource to the DfT Franchise team in London. The agreed Strategic Statement and Social Value Statement (available here) has provided the basis for EMC’s engagement in the process.  
  • EMC has agreed in principle with DfT an ongoing role on the management of the franchise to ensure it delivers for local communities and businesses and to drive continuous improvement.

Local Government as Employers

  • EMC in its role as the regional employers’ organisation has provided opportunities for local authorities in the region to influence national developments in pay, collating views and ensuring these are used to inform national guidance documents. The focus this last year was on supporting councils with the implementation of the new national pay spine and its impact on existing council pay and grading structures. The Regional Joint Council has been a helpful forum to support employment relations across the East Midlands, with the Joint Secretaries able to offer assistance if local difficulties arise.
  • EMC has supported councils on implementing new legislation, particularly on implications for officers and councils of gender pay gap reporting and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). EMC has provided regional responses to Government consultation, representing the views and interests of councils, e.g. on ethnicity pay gap reporting.
  • EMC has added value by providing free advice and guidance to authorities on the implementation of employment legislation and national terms and conditions. Pay, redundancy and employment rights queries have featured frequently as issues that officers have sought advice on during 2018/19.
  • A free monthly HR bulletin gives local authorities a single-point of information on latest developments in HR and learning and development, including analysis of relevant case law and advice on its implications for councils.

Migration

East Midlands Councils hosts the Strategic Migration Partnership - funded by the Home Office to co-ordinate activities regarding the dispersal, accommodation and support of asylum seekers, refugees and wider migration issues across the region. During 2018/19 the EMSMP's achievements include:

  • Working with the Home Office and local authorities to widen asylum dispersal and to put in place more effective accommodation and support arrangements.
  • Coordinating the East Midlands response to the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme. The East Midlands has now accommodated over 720 refugees since the programme commenced in 2015.
  • Coordinating the National Transfer Scheme for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. To date, around ninety children have been voluntarily transferred either from within the region or from London and Kent.
  • Working with the Home Office to put in place funding arrangements for UASC and care leavers that reflect the reality of cost pressures borne by local authorities.
  • Delivered training to local authorities on UASC awareness and trauma, age assessment, ‘train the trainer’ for UASC foster carers and support workers, and UASC foster carers training.

www.emcouncils.gov.uk/East-Midlands-Strategic-Migration-Partnership

EMC’s Policy Briefing

EMC’s weekly Policy Briefing which highlights key policy development and relevant EMC initiatives is sent to lead officers and members in your authority.

www.emcouncils.gov.uk/Policy-Briefing