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Brexit preparations on the agenda

Published Thursday, 12th September 2019

about the council

The council’s cabinet will receive an update on its own Brexit preparations at its meeting next week (Tuesday 17th September).

This follows a previous report to cabinet in January 2019 and a letter from the Secretary of State to all council leaders in August 2019.

The report notes a number of areas that the council has been working on in relation to Brexit, including:

  • A cross-organisation working group has been in place since January meeting on a regular basis, considering the impacts of Brexit in the short to medium term
  • All services across the Council have reviewed their business continuity plans in the context of Brexit
  • The Emergency Planning team has led the liaison with the Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) which has had a specific focus on Brexit, particularly implications of a no-deal scenario, across its member organisations
  • Businesses have been engaged with via multiple routes including Regulatory services, the BEST Growth Hub, the Southend Business Partnership, and through discussions with council suppliers to understand their preparation and expected impact of Brexit. This will continue over the coming weeks
  • The purchase of a fuel bunker through national Brexit funds to provide resilience for key Council services should there be a short term fuel shortage. Funding has also been earmarked for fixed term additional Regulatory Services capacity in recognition that there will be greater demand with respect to product safety, e-commerce, fair trading and import/export which is expected to exceed the existing capacity of the team, as well as there being potential calls for mutual aid in other locations

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “Whilst the national picture remain ever-changing, the 'YellowHammer' document released by the government shows that the potential risks are serious. It is important that locally we prepare appropriately and as part of this, we are working constructively with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the county, and helping residents and businesses access Government information about Brexit.

“Whilst we will continue to prepare where we can locally, there are limits to what we as a single Local Authority can do to prepare for what may be an unprecedented event, when the national picture is so unclear and shifting day by day. Ultimate responsibility for these risks rests with central Government.”

To view the report please visit our Democracy pages.