Thursday, 10 January 2019

Brexit: and the County Council in denial

The County Council seems to prefer to bury its head in the Brexit sands...

Any mention of Brexit in the context of Flybe's problems is to be avoided:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Flybe's warnings
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Flybe for sale

Cllr Martin Shaw reports: 

Devon Tories in denial about role of Brexit in Flybe crisis

At yesterday’s County Council, Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet member for Economy and Skills, reported on the Council’s efforts to support Flybe’s operations at Exeter Airport after the company was forced to put itself up for sale (Virgin has shown interest but nothing has yet been agreed). I think that DCC and other local councils have done what they should in the crisis, including an offer to explore additional projects for the company’s Training Academy.
However the fact remains that the last two-and-a-half years of Brexit uncertainty and the plummeting pound it has caused have helped undermine the airline. As Sky’s City editor reported, ‘Sources said a combination of Brexit-related uncertainty‎, the weaker pound and soaring fuel costs had led Flybe’s directors to conclude that a takeover was likely to be required to preserve its future.’
I asked Cllr Gilbert if he agreed that it was shocking that the Government’s policies had led to this threat to Devon’s air services and our regional airport. But he was having none of it. “Brexit had nothing to do with it’, was all he could say.
Devon Tories in denial about role of Brexit in Flybe crisis « SEATON & COLYTON matters

The independent councillor isn't simply indulging in a little Tory-bashing: 

Kent County Council, which has a huge Tory majority, yesterday published an alarming report on the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for its county. At Devon County Council however, the Conservatives ganged up to prevent my urgent motion being discussed...

While Kent County Council publishes alarming report on Brexit threat, the complacent Tory majority on Devon County Council blocks discussion of my urgent motion on the crisis « SEATON & COLYTON matters 
Futures Forum: Brexit: and County Council avoiding a vote - on a People's Vote

Particularly alarming, though, is how unprepared the council is for the impending no-deal Brexit:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and how prepared local authorities are

Cllr Shaw has just released this posting on his website: 

‘We haven’t got a clue yet’, says County Council leader about No Deal planning

At yesterday’s DCC Cabinet meeting, Leader John Hart answered three questions I had put in writing about estimated risks from Theresa May’s Brexit and No Deal, about help to businesses for No Deal, and emergency planning for disruption to fuel, food and medical supplies in Devon as a result of No Deal.
Cllr Hart did not answer any of my questions. When I asked when he would answer them, he said ‘We haven’t got a clue yet’ about what is going to happen, and that there would be a meeting next week, with just 10 weeks left to when the UK will crash out of the EU with No Deal if no change is made. 
It can be seen that there are no protections in place to protect Devon from the effects of a No Deal. Economy Cabinet member Cllr Rufus Gilbert said ‘we can’t plan for a hypothetical’. Yet No Deal is the default scenario for 29th March.
This is why Devon and Dorset MPs like Ben Bradshaw, Sarah Wollaston and Oliver Letwin are absolutely right to try to block No Deal. I told Cabinet it was irresponsible of them not to support these moves.
‘We haven’t got a clue yet’, says County Council leader about No Deal planning « SEATON & COLYTON matters

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