Agenda and minutes

Southwark Brexit Panel
Wednesday 3 October 2018 5.30 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room G01B - 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH. View directions

Contact: Everton Roberts 020 7525 7221 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

2.

DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

3.

EVIDENCE SESSION - THEME: BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT

4.

EVIDENCE SESSION - THEME: COMMUNITIES AND EU CITIZENS RIGHTS

    The council has invited expert witnesses to discuss and give evidence on how they envisage Brexit will affect communities and EU residents rights in Southwark:

     

    Patria Roman, Latin Elephant

    Carlos Naranjo, Director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce

    Gordon McCullough, CEO of Community Southwark

    Sally Causer,  Southwark Law Centre

    Ruth Budge, Southwark Law Centre

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    This item was moved up the agenda running order.

     

    The following participants spoke about Brexit and its affect on communities and EU residents rights in Southwark.

     

    Patria Roman, Latin Elephant

    Carlos Naranjo, Director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce

    Gordon McCullough, CEO of Community Southwark Council

    Sally Causer, Southwark Law Centre

    Ruth Budge, Southwark Law Centre

    Isaac Bigio, Iberian American Alliance in the UK

     

    Following initial statements from each presenter there was a discussion of issues with members of the panel.

     

    Below is a summary of the issues discussed in the evidence sessions:

     

    Business and Employment

     

    ·  Employers are facing uncertainty over Brexit which is bad for business.

    ·  While larger businesses may be putting contingency plans in place, SMEs in particular may need additional support, as they feel powerless to plan.

    ·  The Southwark Business Forum has consulted members and a strong theme coming out of this consultation was the importance of championing inclusion and diversity as a rebuttal to hate crimes and hostility.

    ·  An additional consideration in Southwark is the impact of Brexit on Latin American businesses – the Latin Quarter has almost 200 small businesses and Brexit has created insecurity for many of those businesses and their employees, many of whom have EU passports. 

    ·  Businesses generally are in agreement that they are unable to predict what will happen and are hoping to minimise any surprises.

     

    Communities/EU residents’ rights

     

    ·  Southwark has a significant Latin American population and many Latin American residents in the borough have EU passports and therefore will be directly affected by Brexit in terms of their status to live and work in the UK. Elephant and Castle is a particular hub for Latin American businesses.

    ·  According to expert witnesses, many Latin American residents work in cleaning services with 11% earning less than the National Living Wage and 70% earning less than the London Living Wage.

    ·  Witnesses raised concerns about the vulnerability of some Latin American residents, particularly those who are unable to speak English, working in precarious conditions or with uncertain immigration status.

    ·  EU citizens still face significant uncertainty about their rights and status following Brexit, particularly in the event of leaving the EU without a deal, and the process for the government’s settled status scheme is still unclear.

    ·  Like many areas, Southwark saw an increase in hate crime following the EU referendum result and witnesses highlighted the importance of continuing to monitor this.

    ·  As well as EU citizens rights, there is significant uncertainty about funding for the voluntary and community sector following Brexit. Some projects supporting vulnerable people are EU funded and the future of that funding beyond March 2019 is unclear. A high proportion of people working in the charitable sector in London are from the EE area.

    ·  There are significant concerns around vulnerable groups whose rights will be affected by Brexit but who may not be aware of the steps they will need to take, including some elderly and disabled people, those who do not speak English and children in care. Some people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

SOUTHWARK COUNCIL'S RESPONSE TO BREXIT

    Verbal update from Stephen Douglass, Southwark Council Brexit Officer and Julie Foy, Head of Human Resources

    Minutes:

    The panel received verbal updates from Stephen Douglass, Director of Communities and Southwark Council Brexit Officer and Julie Foy, Head of Human Resources, Southwark Council.

6.

BREXIT - IMPLICATIONS FOR ADULT SOCIAL CARE

7.

LGA REGIONAL BREXIT SOUNDING BOARD - 30 OCTOBER 2018

    To discuss who to invite from the Panel evidence sessions to participate in the Local Government Association Regional Brexit sounding board event scheduled to take place on Tuesday 30 October from 9.00am – 1.00pm at the Southwark Council officers, 160 Tooley Street, SE1 2QH.

    Minutes:

    It was reported that a LGA regional Brexit sounding board meeting would be held on 30 October 2018.