Despite a difficult situation with ongoing global travel restrictions, JLGC London was this year able to host an annual intensive two-week study programme for short-term seconded staff from CLAIR Tokyo HQ between 8-22 November here in the UK.
Ms Haruko Sugawara, seconded from Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Mr Masaji Ishikawa, seconded from Nagoya City Government, who both work in our Tokyo HQ, travelled to the UK for an intensive two-week study visit and a series of meetings with local government and public sector colleagues looking at support for minority groups through the pandemic as well as to understand more broadly public service roles and activities in England.
Southwark Council hosted a series of briefings followed by Q&A sessions on local authority support for businesses, explaining funding available to employers and companies in the borough and processes and challenges in reacting to the pandemic and lockdown. The next session was on supporting communities and individuals and identifying vulnerable people and building a network with community organisations in order to support communities who would not normally be in contact with local government or find it hard to access services and support. The final briefing with Southwark was with colleagues working in public health and the rollout of the vaccine, again building networks with local community groups and leaders in order to encourage take-up of the vaccine in communities where there was hesitancy and low vaccine take-up.
At Southwark, colleagues were also fortunate to meet the Mayor and the Leader of the Council for a quick photo op and were able to say thanks for hosting these briefings and for the borough’s long-term support to JLGC.
Colleagues at Greater Manchester Combined Authority organised a day of briefings with staff working across a range of areas for a fully packed day kindly hosted by Deloitte at their offices in the city centre. Kicking off the day was a session with GMCA’s dedicated international team briefing on recent relations with Japan and a nascent partnership with Osaka, followed by a discussion of support provided to Greater Manchester businesses throughout the pandemic. This was then followed by colleagues presenting on Community Support Programmes, GMCA’s use of data throughout the pandemic to inform decision making and making policy responses, how GMCA supported the tourism industry and plans for recovery to come back from the pandemic with Marketing Manchester, with a final session on the Greater Manchester vaccine rollout policy.
Other briefings were kindly organised by colleagues at the Greater London Authority on broader topics, as well as other visits hosted by the Metropolitan Police, Hertfordshire County Council and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and others, more details of which can be read here.
A huge thank you to all those organisations and individuals who very kindly hosted JLGC and our staff visiting from Tokyo HQ, who all organised briefings and study sessions at very short notice, which were truly valuable learning opportunities for all who took part.