The Centre for Local Government – Midlands Councils is host to the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership (WMSMP). The WMSMP is funded by the UK Border Agency.
The role of the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership
WMSMP is one of eleven Regional Partnerships across the UK that were established following the introduction of a Regional dispersal policy in 1999 for people seeking asylum. Since then the WMSMP has developed in response to changes in dispersal and migrant patterns, numbers and policy requirements. It has included new migrants in its remit following a request by the Home Office in 2007. The partnership continues to be hosted and supported by West Midlands Councils and has sustained a wide range of activities itself in addition to assisting and enabling the work of corporate partners. This has been achieved within an environment of significant reductions in financial and human resources affecting all partner organizations.
The secretariat maintains a significant role with corporate partners at a Regional, national and local level in leading on and enabling the development of effective operational and strategic responses to the needs of asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants.
Our Aims and Priorities
The Partnership’s aims are to oversee asylum seeker dispersal and facilitate the integration of refugees and vulnerable migrants in the West Midlands by effective multi-agency working across the Region.
In 2012/13 WMSMP has prioritised joint working with the UK Border Agency in the following areas to reflect UKBA’s priorities, as specified below:
|UKBA priorities · Law Enforcement & Compliance
· Increased Performance:
· quicker decision making
· reducing WIP
· delivery through partners
|Areas of joint working with UKBA and WMSMP · Safeguarding
· No Recourse to Public Funds:
· EU & Non EU homelessness
· Increased awareness and training
· COMPASS mobilisation
· Sharing information
|Other SMP functions include:· To promote the inclusion of asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants through a multi-agency approach· To identify and seek to address gaps in resources and service provision in relation to this group
· To ensure relevant organisations are aware of the needs of asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers, new refugees and vulnerable migrants
· Partner with local, Regional and national bodies including government departments and agencies to deliver on specific initiatives
· Work in partnership to gather Regional data and monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and influence policy decisions
The WMSMP Secretariat takes responsibility for key policy, including migration, health, UASC & NRPF – and coordinates thematic multi-agency groups to take forward strategic actions under these themes. WMSMP also is re instating its Partnership Board, which is to be made up of representatives from the statutory, private, and voluntary and community sectors and refugees themselves, as well as a Contract Group concerning the COMPASS accommodation Contract for the allocation of housing and support to asylum seekers
The WMSMP Secretariat can be contacted as follows: