Government cash for Brexit preparations

Coun Ed Malcolm
Coun Ed Malcolm

Town hall chiefs are to be given extra cash to help prepare for Brexit.

Ministers announced this week they had set aside a £56.6m fund to help local authorities across the country plan for the impact of the UK leaving the EU, with or without a deal.

There is also the possibility of more money being handed out to deal with anything that comes up after the official leaving date of March 29.

Coun Ed Malcolm, cabinet member for Resources and Innovation at South Tyneside Council, said: “As with all metropolitan borough councils, we are due to receive £105k in both 2018/19 and 2019/20.

“Brexit, in whatever form, will bring about a number of new challenges.

“We are currently working to identify specific risks around Brexit and how we deal with them.

“This funding will help us to carry out appropriate contingency planning.”

While council chiefs are still waiting for clarity on what will happen after March 29, they do at least know how much has been set aside to help them prepare.

All the Tyne and Wear local authorities are due to get £210,000, spread over two payments, from a fund worth about £40m.

A further £1.5m has been set aside to help councils facing disruption at ports, while £10m is being held back until after Brexit and £5m will be kept for the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government to carry out its own preparations.

James Brokenshire MP, the Communities Secretary, said: “Local authorities have a critical role to play in making a success of Brexit in their areas.

“I’m determined to ensure councils have the resources they need, which is why I’m releasing £56.5 million of extra finance to help them to deliver essential services and keep residents well-informed.

“I will continue to work closely with local leaders to ensure they are prepared to respond to any Brexit scenario.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service