Sunday, 17 February 2019

Brexit: and "the hypocrisy of what the government are putting on local authorities"

It appears that local government will be even more squeezed post-Brexit:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and no “double deal dividend” to free more money for public services
Futures Forum: Brexit: and another key policy area gets sidelined > local government funding

Meanwhile, local government will have to cope with the fall-out:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and how prepared local authorities are

But they're not sure how - as reported across the country:
Reading Borough Council leader Jo Lovelock says Brexit 'faffing' will make mess of local government funding | Reading Chronicle
Hampshire County Council preparing for 'all sorts of eventualities' in run-up to Brexit | Andover Advertiser
Brexit funding for local authorities comes 'too late', says council leader | St Helens Star
Hyndburn Council leader slams £35,000 Brexit planning pot | Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen 

As reported in the Express:
‘Remoaner WHINGE-FEST!’ Council uses no-deal planning cash to pay for anti-Brexit rally | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

And as reported in the Manchester Evening News: 

Baffled town halls ordered to plan for Brexit 'without knowing what it is'

With 43 days left on the clock, local authorities have been told to prepare for March 29


By Jennifer Williams
17:45, 15 FEB 2019

Government incompetence is causing ‘chaos’ within councils that have been ordered to plan for Brexit, a town hall boss has warned.

Stockport council leader Alex Ganotis said local authorities had been told to prepare for leaving the EU in less than 50 days ‘without telling us what to plan for’. He was speaking at the latest meeting of the combined authority, at which Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese said huge anxiety remains among businesses in the region over what happens when Britain leaves. While Greater Manchester had been doing its best to prepare, he said, ‘it’s not a happy story at the moment by any stretch of the imagination’.

Local leaders were meeting with just 43 days left on the clock before March 29 and no clear plan in Westminster about what will happen.

Coun Ganotis said government had been very clear that councils were expected to plan, however, just not what they were planning for.

“There are six weeks left until we are due to leave the EU and the government clearly has no plan over crucial, crucial areas of the way this country is run and the way this country works,” he said. “And yet they are being very clear with local authorities that local authorities need to plan for Brexit.

“We need to make sure our council supports our communities after Brexit, but without telling us what to plan for, exactly what resources will be required, and exactly what the impact will be on our areas. We as councils have to take our responsibilities to residents seriously - and in a way that this government is not taking its responsibilities towards British citizens seriously, because it’s in hoc to a group of fanatics that do not care about ordinary people and the way they go about their lives.”

Reeling off a list of potential issues faced by councils, he said government had announced a funding package for town halls, but that it was ‘far, far less’ than would be needed.

“So we are going to have to find funding within our own councils that we would have otherwise put to other uses in terms of frontline services to provide for and fund Brexit,” he said. “But in terms of what exactly we do, we still don’t know.

“Areas around staffing - local authority staffing, staffing of our contracted services, of care workers are a very good example of that.

“Civil resilience, our regulatory responsibilities, especially in term of product regulation, the services we provide to people from EU countries who don’t know where they will stand, the support we provide for people in terms of employment, as well as keeping things going in the event of Brexit.

“We are going to have to plan for all of this as local authorities and it’s causing chaos. And I think the government needs to understand the hypocrisy of what they are putting on local authorities.”

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