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					Grants Committee
Asian Tsunami – Response to                           Item     17
people and communities                                no:
affected in London
Report by:   Ian Redding              Job      Head of Overview &
                                      title:   Scrutiny, Social
                                               Policy & Grants
                                               Division

Date:        26 January 2005

Telephone:   020 7934 9802     Emai   ian.redding@alg.gov.uk
                               l:



Summary:       This report provides Members with information on
               work being undertaken in London in order to help
               respond to the anticipated additional demands
               upon London’s Voluntary and Community Sector as a
               consequence of the disastrous events in Asia.

Recommendation That Members
s:
                  1. receive this report and note its contents;
                  2. encourage active participation of their
                     boroughs in the development of a co-
                     ordinated approach amongst London’s funders
                     in response to the emerging demands;
                  3. delegate   to   Grants    Committee Elected
                     Officers any decision about the Grants
                     Committee’s own financial contribution to
                     these co-ordinated efforts;
                  4. receive progress reports on these issues at
                     each Grants Committee meeting until further
                     notice.
Background
  1.   The earthquake and resulting Tsunami in Asia have caused the
       largest disaster associated with a single event in recent
       history. The high degree of mobility that many of us benefit
       from these days has also meant that the effects on people and
       communities, whilst obviously concentrated in the areas
       around the Indian Ocean, have been worldwide. Give London’s
       cultural diversity it is inevitable that a large number of
       Londoners will have been affected directly or indirectly by
       these events.

  2.    The results of international efforts to provide direct
       overseas aid to communities that suffered the Tsunami have
       been remarkable; but then there is a very considerable job to
       be done. However, the effects on people and communities
       around the world will manifest themselves for a long time to
       come, and in London it can be anticipated that support
       networks that help people deal with the kinds of challenges
       that these events will cause them, will come under particular
       pressure.

  3.   ALG officers were concerned that the need for resources to
       enable additional demands on Voluntary and Community Sector
       (VCS) services in London to be managed and addressed, did not
       present those organisations with the usual wide range of
       bureaucracy from each funder, or a confusing maze to
       negotiate to find appropriate financial support.

  4.   Consequently agreement was sought from the Executive of the
       London Funders’ Group (LFG) to set up an Emergency LFG
       meeting in order to get some initial thoughts together, and
       mutually agree upon an appropriate action plan.


Emergency Meeting of London Funders’ Group
  5.   The Emergency LFG meeting took place on Wednesday 12th January
       2005, chaired by Ian Redding from ALG. Given the short notice
       the response was very good and representatives of the
       following bodies either took part in discussions or provided
       written thoughts on ways that funders might wish to proceed:
           Arts Council
           Association of London Government
           Barings Foundation
           Big Lottery Fund
           Bridge House Trust
           Business In The Community
            City Parochial Foundation
            Greater London Authority
            LB Haringey
            London Development Agency
            London Funders Group
            South East London Community Foundation

  6.   The note of that meeting is attached at Appendix 1 for the
       Committee’s information, and the key issues arising are
       summarised below.

Additional demands on services
  7.   It was agreed that the scope and scale of additional demands
       for services from London’s VCS, needs to be properly
       researched. Based upon the reports from Government, and on
       intelligence gathered from funders’ conversations with a
       number of individual VCS agencies, the range of services is
       likely to include:
           Counselling (including bereavement counselling)
           Immigration issues, general advice but also due to
            isolated children and older people
           Advocacy, with an emphasis on political problems in some
            countries affected
           Asylum seekers
           Adoption
           Financial hardship (individuals wanting to pay respects
            to family and friends, visit families or community,
            etc).

  8.   There is an expectation that this will put pressures on the
       capacity of organisations in a number of ways, including on
       staffing and volunteers, finance (especially where an agency
       has close overseas links and has had to respond with
       increased overseas work in the emergency), and longer-term
       fundraising.

Short, Medium and/or Longer-term Impact?
  9.   At this stage the expectations were that the VCS are facing
       short to medium term financial/capacity problems, but that
       they will need to reflect and adapt their operations in the
       longer-term as they plan for future activities: consequently
       financial resources will need to be found in the shorter term
       to enable organisations to overcome the hiatus.

How are funders responding?
  10.   Though many funders are aware of the potential problems few
        have had the opportunity to consider how to respond (and
        certainly not through formal channels). There was, however
        broad commitment to finding a co-ordinated way to respond.


London Funders’ Group Co-ordinatedAction Plan
  11.   As a result of the meeting, the following actions are now
        underway:
         Survey being undertaken for through Barings Foundation
           (potentially   with   additional   resources  through   LDA
           particularly if developing capacity is an issue) to
           establish
               What is range of service issues emerging or expected
                to emerge for the voluntary and community sector
                (VCS)?
               What is the potential scale of these and the ability
                of agencies to cope with the demands?
         Survey being undertaken by LFG with its members (which
           includes all the London boroughs and ALG) to establish
               Whether funders are responding to or intending to
                respond to these issues?
               Whether funders are interested in joining in a co-
                ordinated approach to responding, if not through
                setting up a common fund through a single “portal” set
                up by LFG, signposting the VCS to the most appropriate
                funding source?

  12.   LFG has a full members meeting on the morning of 3 February
        2005, but will now extend that beyond lunchtime to provide
        for a further discussion about the Tsunami. It is anticipated
        that given the urgency of the situation a substantial amount
        of feedback from both surveys will already be available.


Action within boroughs
  13.   A number of boroughs have been active in assisting their
        communities in responding to the events that have arisen:
        many have made facilities available to help agencies cope
        with demands. Colleagues in the ALG Corporate and Public
        Affairs Division have been working with boroughs in order to
        catalogue these through the ALG Website. For Grants Committee
        information, an extract of these from the Website is attached
        at Appendix 2.
  14.   How individual boroughs might be intending to respond to
        pressures on the VCS agencies in their areas ought to become
        clearer when they reply to the LFG survey. Grants Committee
        members may wish to encourage their officers to send their
        reply to the survey as swiftly as possible, and to attend the
        LFG meeting on 3 February.

  15.   Members might also wish to encourage their boroughs to
        consider contributing to a co-ordinated response to the
        demands on the VCS, and to how they might envisage this being
        most effectively and efficiently administered.


Geographical spread in London of communities most directly
affected
  16.   Information relating to the location in London of four of the
        main communities affected by the Tsunami events, as per the
        2001 census (Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai), is
        set out in Appendix 3. Particularly notable is the size of
        the Sri Lankan community and the proportion of the UK
        population in London (75%).

  17.   The data is set out on four separate tables providing
            the raw statistics
            analysis in percentage terms
            re-ordered analysis based upon spread of the Sri Lankan
             community in London
            re-ordered analysis based upon the Malaysian community

A Grants Committee response
  18.   Given the Grants Committee’s role as a strategic funder in
        London it is important that the ALG places itself at the
        centre of activity in securing as co-ordinated a response as
        is feasible. The potential for development of a single
        response by funders, was discussed informally by Grants
        Committee Elected Officers on 6 January 2005 (prior to the
        LFG meeting); clearly there was commitment in principle to do
        this.

  19.   The financial capacity of the Grants Committee to respond is,
        however, restricted by the need to retain sufficient balances
        to underpin the Grants Committee budget for 2006/7 (agenda
        item 13 provides more detail on the context). The most likely
        proposal for the Grants Committee is for a one-off
        contribution to a “fund” set aside to resource appropriate
        activity, though the scale of this would depend on the
        results of the LFG (Barings) needs survey. In the
        circumstances the Committee are asked to delegate a decision
        on the size of this contribution to Grants Committee Elected
        Officers.


Recommendations
  20.   Grants Committee are recommended to
             receive this report and note its contents;
             encourage active participation of their boroughs in the
              development of a co-ordinated approach amongst London’s
              funders in response to the emerging demands;
             delegate to Grants Committee Elected Officers any
              decision about the Grants Committee’s own financial
              contribution to these co-ordinated efforts;
             receive progress reports on these issues at each Grants
              Committee   meeting    until  further    notice.Officers
              recommend that the Committee
                                                                                            Appendix 1




Summary of discussion
LFG Emergency meeting – Joint Tsunami initiative
Held on Wednesday 12th January 2005



Chair: Ian Redding
       Association of London Government



LFG held an Emergency meeting to consider how members could respond to the Asian Tsunami
disaster in a joint initiative, given that it is anticipated that it could substantially increase pressure upon
a range of services provided by voluntary and community agencies in London.

Members had the opportunity to brainstorm on the services needed or affected and the potential
scope for / obstacles to contributing resources to a joint initiative. Please see below for a summary of
this discussion.




1. Clarifying the impacts of the Asian Tsunami through the collation of information from
   voluntary and community organisations

In order to get a sense of how the voluntary and community sector was responding to the Asian
Tsunami disaster, members were firstly asked to talk through

       any work that that had been undertaken in response to the Asian Tsunami disaster
       resources they would be willing to commit to for a joint initiative

Whilst most members present had not identified funds that could be commited to a joint initiative, most
had started to undertake a needs analysis of the situation by talking to community and voluntary
groups/ organisations. It was agreed that this information should be collated centrally by LFG, to
enable a clear picture of the impact of the Asian Tsunami on Londoners.

Whilst many community and voluntary groups/organisations had been contacted, many more needed
to be approached to enable LFG to have a clear picture of the situation in London. It was agreed that
members would pass on to LFG the details of those community and voluntary organsations that
should be contacted. LFG will collate this list and pass it on to The Baring Foundation, who will then
make contact with these organisations.

To ensure consistency, it was agreed The Baring Foundation would develop a list of questions to be
put to groups/ organisations.

Actions
       1. LFG to pull together list of organsations that have been approached
       2. LFG to pull together list of organisations that still need to be approached for information
       3. LFG to email lists from action 1 & 2 to Baring.
       4. Baring to develop questions that will be put to relevant organsiations (action 2) and send a
          draft of these to group members for comment.
       5. Baring to contact organisations from action point 2. This information should be emailed to
          LFG in time for the next meeting on 3rd February.


2. How joint resources could be pooled

There was a discussion on the possibility of a “joint pot of funds”. It was agreed that this could be
impractical to administer and that a „virtual’ joint pot of resources with joint publicity and direct
signposting as a time limited intervention would be a better option for pooling resources. Most
members agreed that pooling resources and information provided them with an „added value‟ instead
of working individually.


3. How might funders work on a joint initiative

There was a discussion on how funders may be involved and it was agreed that funders could be most
effective by aligning areas of need with their areas of expertise. There was a brainstorm on what the
possible areas of need may be and the following was agreed.

        (NB. Not listed in any order of priority)

       1.   Counseling - including bereavement
       2.   Asylum seekers
       3.   Advocacy – political issues
       4.   Immigration issues
                              isolated children and older people
                              advice
       5.   Community tensions - maintaining cohesion
       6.   Adoption
       7.   Hardship grants (through organisations) - ability of individuals to travel
       8.   Volunteer management
       9.   Capacity of organisations
                       finance and utilising for current overseas work
                       fundraising


4. What other organisations may need to be approached
It was agreed to talk to the big agencies already actively involved in responding to the Asian Tsunami
disaster. This will include The Red Cross and The Disasters Emergency Committee.

It was agreed that the following organisations would need to be included in an approach for
information of impacts of the Asian Tsunami.

   1.   IOF
   2.   CAF
   3.   LASA incl London advice wkers network
   4.   Refugee Council – views on prevention advice
   5.   BAAF
   6.   MINET
   7.   MODA
   8.   TAMIL womens group- no name?
   9.   ALG steering group of networks


5. Other decisions

It was agreed that any initiative would look at matching needs with in-kind support.


6. Other Actions

       LFG to email membership summary of meeting and questions on members‟ contribution to
        Asian Tsunami.

       A second meeting will be convened on 3rd February to look at mapping results and any issues
        that arise out of this.
                                                                                Appendix 2
(Extract from ALG Website)

Response to the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean region
by London’s boroughs
07/01/2005

London boroughs have offered their deepest sympathies to the victims, their families and
friends.
Individual councils have organised events such as memorial services, opened up condolence
books and supported local collections to show solidarity with families here and abroad who
have been affected by the tragic events in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.
Councils also observed the national three minute silence on Wednesday 5 January and many
have enabled staff to make donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee via their pay
packet. A detailed list of these activities is below.
London boroughs’ contribution to the disaster response efforts in the
UK
Councils have been working with the Government, the Met Police and other agencies to
support and assist people returning to the UK from the disaster zone.
A system called the London Local Authorities Gold Command has led the local government
response. This system ensures that there is always one local authority Chief Executive on
duty to represent the 33 London local authorities in the event of a catastrophic incident
affecting London.
The “Gold” Chief Executive works with the multi-agency London Resilience Team established
by the Government to coordinate the capital-wide response to a major incident following the
event of 9/11 in New York. The Team includes representatives from the emergency services,
transport operators, utilities, NHS and local government.
Local authority roles have included:

      Social Services staff from the London boroughs of Hounslow and
       Hillingdon have been providing support to those arriving back
       from the disaster zone at Heathrow Airport. The staff are also
       assisting the charity Heathrow Travel Care and other agencies,
       such as the Red Cross, in providing support for traumatised and
       grief stricken passengers.
        The bodies of victims from England and Wales are being returned
         to the UK via Heathrow Airport and then dealt with by the
         Coroner’s Office for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham,
         working with Hammersmith and Fulham council staff.

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum is planning to host a meeting on 14 January
2005 of UK authorities and other interested parties to talk about the local government
response to the earthquake.


The Association of London Government is discussing the impact of the disaster on London's
voluntary and community sector with the other London Funders Group.


Local authority events across London
Barnet
The council has organised a multi-faith ceremony, which will be held on Sunday 16 January at
2.30pm at Hendon School, Golders Rise, London, NW4 2HP.
The event will also see the launch of a borough-wide appeal for people affected by the
disaster.


Brent
The council is holding a fundraising quiz open to staff and the public on Friday 21 January, 7-
9pm at Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, HA9 9HD.
Croydon
A book of condolence is open in the Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon.
Enfield
Books of condolences are on display at major council buildings for residents to sign.
Greenwich
The Council has opened a Book of Condolences for the victims of the disaster.
Hammersmith & Fulham
The Borough is providing mortuary facilities and the Borough Coroner is dealing with all
bodies being repatriated to England and Wales.
Haringey
Residents that have been affected personally by the disaster and would like to talk to
someone in confidence can call Social Services for help and support.
Harrow
Harrow Council has set up a dedicated bank account for those people in the borough who
may wish to contribute.
Kensington and Chelsea
A multi-faith rememberance service was held on Wednesday 5 January.
Newham
A multi-faith memorial service is planned for 16 of January.
A memorial ceremony was held at East Ham Town Hall on Wednesday 5 January to mark the
national three minute silence.
Tower Hamlets
The Council has organised a borough-wide fund raising day on the 21st January.


Waltham Forest
The Waltham Forest Council has set up a goods collection point at the Council recycling
centres in Kings Road, Chingford and South Access Road Leyton.