New funding for Brexit preparations

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has asked each council to designate a Brexit lead to work with central government and local stakeholders to plan for leaving the EU. Most councils already have one.

The funding is expected to support a range of activity including communications, training and the recruitment of staff. As first was going to press, more details were due to be announced about how the funding will be distributed.

The LGA is working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on Brexit preparations, and Mr Jenrick has hosted a webinar with council leaders and chief executives.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s Brexit Taskforce, wrote to council leaders and chief executives immediately after the £20 million announcement to detail the work going on.

He said: “The Government has listened to our calls recognising the central role councils play and that more resources are needed for their Brexit preparations. This funding will help councils continue to co-ordinate their efforts.

“With councils already facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion in 2019/20 it is more important now than ever that councils receive the resources they need.”

Cllr Bentley added: “Councils are already taking a lead on preparations for Brexit and have been working tirelessly to ensure their communities and businesses are as prepared as they can be given the uncertainty surrounding the process.

”Brexit will affect local areas in different ways, and Brexit preparations must reflect local circumstances. Local leaders are best placed to ensure preparations are directed where there is most need.

”There are information and advice gaps that councils are facing that need to be met by the Government. In the meantime, we will continue to work with councils to identify the issues that need to be addressed at a national level to ensure that councils are as prepared as they can be.”

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