Mandating Meeting

The Mandating Meeting of the Home Office South East England Branch of PCS will be held at 14:30– 15:30 on Thursday 16th May 2019 in the Stockdale Conference Room, The Lodge, Priory Court, Dover.

This meeting is held to mandate the delegates for PCS Home Office Group Conference and PCS National Conference, and to consider any nominations received for Group Advisory Committees.

You will be please to hear that the ERT have agreed for members to have time off from official duties to allow for members to attend this meetingthis year.

KEVIN MILLS

Branch Secretary

10th April 2019

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FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW.

The title above may be the latest slogan from the Labour party, but it also describes many of the elements as to why the PCS pay claim this year is 10%. With this briefing I will attempt to clarify why it is so vital that you vote in this pay ballot.

Firstly the basics, due to the anti-trade union legislation, we need to hit 50% of you voting to be able to have a mandate to take ANY industrial action, be that strike action or action short of a strike. Therefore your vote really does count, it really does strengthen our position in national negotiations on pay. The legislation gives us that this mandate, should we achieve it, is valid for six months. Therefore it is something we can go into negotiations with and possibly not need to use, but we have it if we need it.

You will not send the country into ever increasing debt by getting a pay rise! Just look at the money that has been spent on Brexit. It has not yet been achieved and yet the Government are spending BILLIONS on buying votes and trying to protect their political position. They can afford a pay rise for you.

MP’s have just voted themselves yet another inflation busting pay rise. All the while they are telling us that we can only have 1% they are voting in above inflation pay rises because an independent body says they are worth it. YOU ARE WORTH IT! 10% will still leave you behind the inflationary increases since austerity began but it is a contribution to bringing us back in line.

They will get it back! If you get a 10% pay rise, you will be taxed on it. This will increase tax receipts for the exchequer. If, because for once you have a little extra left at the end of the month you buy a little extra, or take a little trip to treat your family, you will pay VAT on your purchase, which will increase tax receipts. However as a knock on effect it will increase trade for local shops, helping them stay open and keeping their staff in jobs, and maybe giving them a pay rise.

It is clear that it is not a selfish thing to ask for this pay increase, it will go some way to helping local communities and giving you a bearable standard of living.  It is an increase that you deserve rather than one which disrespects your contribution.

DON’T LOSE YOU CHANGE TO VOTE. VOTE AND POST TODAY AND SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE THAT 1% IS AN INSULT. YOU DESERVE MORE USE YOUR VOICE, USE YOUR VOTE!

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Chief Inspector publishes his report on Border Force operations at south coast seaports

This inspection examined Border Force operations at the seaports of Dover, Newhaven, Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Plymouth, and the coverage of smaller ports, harbours and marinas along the south coast.

South Coast

 

This inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of Border Force immigration and customs operations at the seaports of Dover, Newhaven, Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Plymouth, and looked at its coverage of smaller ports, harbours and marinas along the south coast between Dover and Falmouth. Evidence gathering took place between January and April, and my report was sent to the Home Secretary on 20 June 2018. Despite the delay, I have no reason to think that my findings and recommendations are not still valid.

The focus was on Border Force’s strategy, capabilities, and understanding of and overall response to threats to the border, including its collection and use of intelligence and its collaborations with others, and on what changes or improvements had been made since my inspections of General Maritime (GM) in 2016 and east coast seaports in 2017.

I looked again for evidence of displacement of clandestine arrivals from Dover to other ports following the closure of migrant camps and improved security in northern France. The numbers discovered at Portsmouth and Poole had indeed increased, suggesting that irregular migrants looking to enter the UK were now targeting the ferry ports in Normandy and Spain. Meanwhile, efforts by European authorities, encouraged and supported by Border Force, appeared to have reduced the overall numbers successfully boarding UK-bound ferries.

The east coast inspection contrasted the broadly efficient and effective management of fixed immigration control points and freight arrivals at the major seaports with the poor coverage of smaller ports, harbours and marinas. The south coast inspection again showed the scale of Border Force’s task. It was clear that it had put considerable effort into improving its coverage, through coastal patrols and more field intelligence work, and with some success.

But, this was a “work in progress”, with much more to be done, particularly in freeing up officers to attend GM arrivals, and in effectively harnessing the “eyes and ears” of harbour masters, marina managers, the maritime and pleasure boating communities, and the general public to report unusual and suspicious activities along the south coast.

I made 7 recommendations for improvement, covering resourcing, equipment, the response to threats, clandestine arrivals, customers and stakeholders, GM, and the tracking of recommendations. Most have been “Partially accepted”, although the accompanying responses, including to the “Accepted” recommendations, are heavily caveated.

I recognise that Border Force is dealing with many challenges, not just along the south coast, but nationally, and that its job is not made any easier by having to prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU without clarity as yet about what exactly this will involve. However, it is difficult to escape the impression that Border Force believes it knows best and will make changes only on its own terms and at its own pace.

During 2019-20, I had planned to complete my series of seaport and coastline inspections with an inspection of the west coast. The responses to the south coast seaports inspection, and the timescales quoted, suggest that I may need to rethink this.

An inspection of Border Force operations at south coast seaports

The Home Office response to the South Coast Seaports inspection

David Bolt
Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

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