Joint press release from Calderdale Council and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce:
Calderdale Council has met with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as part of its ongoing preparations for the UK leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.
The organisations are working together to ensure local businesses are as prepared as possible for the likely impacts in Calderdale.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins and Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham met with the Managing Director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Martin Hathaway to discuss the next steps.
These include raising awareness of the support and advice available; lobbying together to get the best outcomes for Calderdale; and working with local businesses on how to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.
This builds on the continued support that the Council has been offering businesses in the run-up to 29 March. For example, last year it held an event on developing the export market, supported by best practice examples from local employers. It is also advising businesses on specific challenges they have in relation to their supply chains and workforce.
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce supports exports worth €1.2 billion annually from around 300 exporters across Calderdale and Kirklees.
Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s Chief Executive, said:
“We are keen to do all that we can to support local businesses in their work to prepare for how leaving the European Union might affect them. Our ongoing work with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce aims to support a successful transition, enabling our creative and vibrant local economy to continue to thrive.
“We recognise that the current scale of uncertainty is not good for our business community, and that message is being relayed to me by private sector colleagues on a daily basis. Calderdale has a strong tradition of being enterprising and talented and the Council is committed to support local businesses, building on our work to date in securing investment, and the skilled workforce needed into the future.”
Martin Hathaway, Managing Director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
“These are uneasy times for many exporters concerned by persistent uncertainty around Brexit and future terms of trade with key partners. As we approach 29 March, so many questions remain unanswered and with the chance of no-deal still looming, businesses are preparing for the possibility of increased volatility.
“At a time when all of the cogs of Government seem to be jammed by Brexit, issues crucial to the UK’s competitiveness and productivity have gone ignored. Business communities continue to shout about the scale of labour shortages, with four-in-five manufacturers reporting recruitment difficulties. Yet there has been little action relating to improvements in the UK’s training or skills system, nor has the Government’s immigration blueprint delivered on calls for a system to provide easy access to skills at all levels.
“The Government must urgently deliver clarity on the UK’s future after March 2019, and then immediately refocus on the fundamentals of the domestic environment. Removing barriers to growth at home is more important than ever at a time of such uncertainty and transition for our business communities.”
As well as supporting businesses, the Council is taking a range of other actions to ensure Calderdale is as prepared as possible for the UK’s departure from the EU. It was one of the first local authorities to produce an impact and risk assessment last autumn. This was updated and presented to the Council’s Audit Committee in January 2019.
Other Council preparations so far include:
- Working with the NHS regarding the supply of medicines, workforce issues and other supplies.
- Carrying out weekly regional and national teleconferences with partner organisations to ensure resilience, contingency planning and business continuity arrangements are in place.
- Addressing local people’s concerns on factors such as the EU Settlement Scheme (EU citizens and their families will be able to apply to the Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021).
Preparations will continue and a further update will be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 18 March.