Economy and Infrastructure

29.01.19

Brokenshire reveals councils to receive £56.5m for Brexit preparations

Local authorities in England will receive £56.5m in order to help their preparations for Brexit after James Brokenshire announced an additional £21.5m to be given to councils in 2019.

The communities secretary said the extra money would be used for “appropriate contingency planning” weeks after a leaked letter to the chancellor from Brokenshire had warned of “civil unrest” and fresh disruption because of a lack of local government funding ahead of Brexit.

The Treasury said in December that councils would receive £35m to prepare for the UK leaving the European Union, but has announced the further £21.5m following protests from Brokenshire and from local authorities across the country.

Councils are to receive £20m this financial year followed by £20m in 2019-20. A separate £10m fund will also be available once the UK has left the European Union, intended for local authorities with specific costs which may arise after Brexit.

A further £5m will be split by teams in the department, local authorities, and local resilience forums for specific purposes such as supporting communities. An additional £1.5m is allocated for 2018-19 but is only available to councils facing immediate impacts from local ports.

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 £56.5m 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.”

All unitary councils will receive £210,000, combined authorities will receive £182,000, county councils will get £175,000, and district councils £35,000.

Councils will be able to allocate their funding and is expected to be spent on resources like recruiting extra staff and providing timely and accurate information to residents regarding Brexit.

The impact Brexit is already having on local authorities was shown last week when Brighton and Hove City Council were told by a developer that its proposed flagship £400m leisure centre development project could not go ahead due to the current lack of certainty around Brexit.

Image credit -  Victora Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

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