Calderdale Council has appointed a Brexit Lead Officer for the local authority as it continues to prepare for the impact of leaving the European Union.
The Prime Minister has stated that the UK will formally leave the EU on 31 October 2019 with or without a withdrawal agreement.
The new Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has asked all local authorities to designate a senior officer to lead on Brexit preparations within their borough.
Zohrah Zancudi, Director of Public Services, will lead the Council’s preparations for Brexit, including resilience planning.
The appointment is included within a Cabinet report on the continuing work undertaken by the Council to identify and manage the risks and potential impact of leaving the European Union on Calderdale.
Local authorities have been notified that there will be £20m additional funding available nationally to aid local authorities’ preparation for Brexit with the allocation to unitary authorities, such as Calderdale, being £104,000. This is additional to the £105,000 already allocated by the Government to Calderdale in the current year.
Cllr Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council said:
“It’s clear that whether we leave the EU with or without a deal there are significant risks and impacts for the UK and consequently for Calderdale.
“During this period of uncertainty we have been developing and implementing action plans to help manage a no deal departure.”
The Government has asked local authorities to work with their Local Resilience Forum to assess the potential impact of leaving the EU on local communities and
Calderdale Council is contributing to West Yorkshire’s Local Resilience Forum resilience plans.
As part of the Council’s preparations, the local authority has set up a Brexit group which will review the risks both for Calderdale and for individual Council services and identify any mitigation which is required.
Officers are working with health colleagues on contingency planning and are also collating and co-ordinating information sharing with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and other local authorities.
The Council is working with local businesses to make sure they are aware of all the latest information and updates from the Government on managing a no deal exit.
An appendix to the report outlines a list of risks and actions including business and the economy; workforce and skills; community cohesion and migration; and the provision of medicines and health services.
The risk assessment is based on information from the Government, research, expert opinion and guidance from the Local Government Association. The Council is regularly monitoring and updating the list as more information becomes available.
The continuing work to identify and manage the impact and risks of Brexit will be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 2 September 2019 at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm.