Agenda item

Welcome Strategy

[Report of the Director of Adults and Health. To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health.]


The  report will set out the  Council’s strategic response to migration and integration building on its current approach.


The Cabinet Member for Adults and Health introduced this report which set out the Council’s strategic response to migration and integration building on its current approach.


The Cabinet Member was pleased to present the Welcome Strategy and paid special thanks to the community voluntary sector organisations who participated in the process. The Council would be working with them to set up a Board and to create an action plan that could then be monitored to measure progress.


The Cabinet Member closed by stating that, despite the uncertainty for migrants entering into the borough, the Council wished to send a message that it, and the borough, welcomed new migrants and wanted to work with them. There already existed the Connected Community Project and the Welcome Strategy was the next step.


The Leader invited Councillors to ask questions on this report. Councillor Palmer placed on record her dissatisfaction with not being able to ask questions in relation to item 9.


In response to questions from Councillor Palmer and das Neves, the following information was provided:


  • The Cabinet Member confirmed that the review of the current practices in how the Council supported migrant residents would include all the agencies that enforced migration law within the borough.


  • Regarding the timescale of that review, the Cabinet Member informed that, given its comprehensive coverage, it would take time to complete. For that reason, it was considered necessary to have a Welcome Advisory Board which the Cabinet Member envisaged would be cross party and noted the Liberal Democrats had co-sponsored the Welcome Strategy motion at Full Council in November 2018. The Council had already begun to talk with community monitory organisations about membership of the Board. The Board would be looking at: what were the Council’s priorities; what should be worked on; and any medium to long term goals. An overarching issue for migrants had been the United Kingdom’s expected exit from the European Union which had created uncertainty. The Council needed to develop an approach that was flexible and able to react to any changes as and when required.



  • The Cabinet Member was not able to provide the complete list of organisations that the Council had so far worked with regarding the Welcome Strategy but would arrange for that information to be made available.


  • The Cabinet Member confirmed there had been a round table meeting organised through the Selby Centre which was attended by over 50 individuals from different organisations. There had also been separate smaller meetings with different organisations looking at migration issues such as cases where migrants had no recourse of public funds and issues surrounding settled status for European migrants. Draft versions of the strategy had been circulated to various organisations and community groups who had in turn provided input and subsequent revisions were made. To further embed the work of the community into the work of the Welcome Strategy, the Welcome Advisory Board was set up to ensure that their contributions would continue.


  • Regarding the involvement of the wider community, the Cabinet Member noted there had been input provided from the Polish, Turkish, Irish, Black and African Caribbean communities.


  • The Cabinet Member invited Councillors to provide information on any communities or organisations they considered might wish to be involved in the Welcome Strategy, if they were not already.



To approve the Welcome Strategy at Appendix 1, which requires stakeholders to co-produce an Action Plan to be approved by Cabinet.

Reasons for decision

Haringey Council is committed to building a borough where strong families, strong networks and strong communities nurture all residents to live well and achieve their potential. In November 2018, Full Council adopted a motion to publicly reaffirm this commitment, in particular to migrant communities and those fleeing conflict abroad.

The Welcome Strategy represents a step towards the fulfilment of the commitment expressed in the motion. It provides a framework and approach for taking developing and taking forward activity across partners to ensure that Haringey can continue to be a borough where migrant communities are able to settle and thrive, and where strong communities get on well together.

Alternative options considered

Do Nothing

The Welcome Strategy would not be adopted. This would compromise the capacity of the Council, partners, and the community to take forward action that supports migrant communities in Haringey to settle and thrive in the borough. It would also mean that the Council would not fulfil the commitment of the November 2018 Full Council motion referenced above. It is not mandatory to have a Welcome Strategy. However, not having one would fail to signal the Council’s intent and commitment on this issue.




Supporting documents: