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EMC Annual Report

This Annual Report is a summary of our work over the past 12 months and enables us to account to our membership for what we have done on your behalf in meeting your agreed priorities. It covers the range of EMC’s programmes and services, including proposals for greater investment and infrastructure funds, our work on HS2 and the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), providing focused member and officer development programmes and our role as the Regional Employers’ Organisation; as well as taking forward the management of important refugee and asylum resettlement programmes.

All member councils accessed at least one of these discounted services during 2021/22, with EMC delivering savings on behalf of its member councils estimated to be £562,000.

We remain grateful to EMC staff, councillors and officers across the region for their efforts and on-going engagement. We look forward to continuing to work with colleagues across the East Midlands during 2022/23.

EMC Annual Report 2021-22

We have continued to offer advice, access to low cost services and capacity support to our member councils.

A significant focus remains on infrastructure and growth. Local authorities in this region continue to lead work with Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine in delivering investment into the East Midlands. EMC has led work to inform the regional response to the IRP and agree a collective approach to implementation, and established a new model for rail contract management with an influencing role for local authorities in the region.

It remains important that EMC provides effective leadership on asylum and refugee resettlement work – providing strategic alignment of support for this vulnerable group of people while working with Government to increase resources, develop good practice, and improve structures at the local level. The past 12 months has seen EMC deliver an increasingly challenging work programme that has included the resettlement of Afghan refugees, the co-ordination and support of the Hong Kong (BNO) programme and, more recently, the Ukrainian visa and housing scheme. Councils in the East Midlands should be proud of the way in which they have stepped up in responding to these programmes, but there remain concerns about the impact of these programmes on local communities and the refugees themselves and we are looking to put in place improved delivery and integration arrangements.

The workforce implications of Covid-19 have been significant and in its role as the Regional Employers’ Organisation, EMC refocused its work to support councils in managing these issues. Councils were provided with timely advice and information, with EMC responding to more queries each month than is usually received each year. Three main themes that EMC focused on to support councils as part of its overall work programme were employee wellbeing, particularly relating to mental health; supporting managers with the implications of managing people remotely; and assisting the transition to new ways of working for managers, team members, and from an organisational culture perspective.