Agenda item

Migration Impacts funding

Report and presentation by Adam Jackson, Service Connector Manager.


In the absence of Adam Jackson the Customer Services Manager gave the PowerPoint presentation and presented the report.


She explained that the recommendations in the report asked Partners to consider their financial commitment to the project and also to determine the best way to deliver key messages and services to where they were most needed. 


To achieve maximum effect it was proposed to amend the current timetable of the One-Stop bus to omit some villages from the route where the service was not required.  This would free up capacity to allow visits to places such as industrial estates, where it was hoped that the community would receive more benefit.


The META (Mobile Europeans Take Action) project was fully operational.  An Eastern European speaker and a Portuguese speaker were working with officers and being shown where to find information so that they could continue to provide a service when officers were not present.  Different websites were utilised and National Insurance was one of the most common enquiries.  They were also involved in the Worklessness Project in partnership with Keystone Development Trust in offering help with CV writing, interview skills, etc.


Adrian Stasiak said that he had visited the Job Centre and they sent a lot of people to META, he asked if any funding was received from them for providing that service.


Mark Fretwell advised that there had been a suggestion that the National Insurance service would be taken on at a cost.  The key to sustainability was for partners to buy into the service.  More partners would be attracted if additional services were on offer.


Returning to the presentation, Monica advised that statistics were being collected on the queries being received and on the numbers using the One-Stop bus at different locations.  It was becoming clear that literature would need to be made available in other languages.


She asked Partners to provide information about the messages that they wanted disseminated.  Future visits were planned to Saturday Farmers’ Markets and the Town & Parish Council Forum.


Cynthia Wake was concerned that the bus had not been well publicised and she said that it was important that when it did visit villages it parked in the best location to attract customers.  She also suggested that local firms with large migrant workforces should be approached for permission to visit.


Monica explained that the team had liaised with all Town and Parish Clerks to agree locations for the bus.  However, it was a large vehicle and had to be positioned to allow satellite access, so sometimes the agreed locations had not been suitable. 


Publicity had been provided by flyers being distributed to all households within the communities to be visited.  There had also been press releases and information on the website.  Clerks and Ward Representatives had been encouraged to spread the word and had been provided with information for their notice-boards. 


Large employers of migrant workers were about to be contacted and it was intended to visit at shift change times to provide accessibility to the greatest numbers.


The Assistant Director of Communications and Communities said that publicity was an on-going process.  He also mentioned that Radio Norfolk would be conducting an interview from the bus’s location the following day, which would provide good publicity.


Debbie Bartlett pointed out that the project was aimed at ‘hard to reach’ people so it should be judged on its value to each individual that was helped.


The Partnership (LSP) Officer then updated Partners on the Arts project. 


Artists had been invited to Thetford to explore the parameters of the project and to meet with key community groups.  Partners were asked to provide contact details for any groups they wished to be involved.


One artist had been lost to the project as he had been invited to be the host artist for the Olympics – which showed the high calibre of those involved.  His replacement was also high quality.


Councillor Stasiak, Jan Godfrey and Val Jenkins would be meeting with the artists and once a plan had been formulated it would be brought to the Board.


The Chairman said that it was important to look at the legacy of this project and see how it could be rolled out in other areas.


The report was noted.


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