Lead local authority Brexit officers and members came together today at an event to discuss ongoing preparations for Brexit, amidst continuing uncertainty at Westminster.
Local government representatives were joined at the event by the Counsel General and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles, and President of WLGA’s Scottish counterpart COSLA, Councillor Alison Evison.
Since the result of the referendum in 2016, councils across Wales have undertaken numerous assessments and surveys to ascertain potential risks to local services in the event of the UK exiting the European Union. Through the WLGA, local authorities have been working with Welsh Government to try and mitigate some of the worst effects on local services and communities, although ongoing uncertainty at Westminster and the prospect of an unorderly no-deal is inhibiting councils from being able to respond.
A toolkit has been commissioned by WLGA and developed by Grant Thornton, to aid local authorities in their efforts to ensure the continued delivery of vital local service in the face of the implications of exiting the EU.
Councillor Rob Stewart (Swansea), WLGA Spokesperson for Europe said:
“The event today is a much-needed opportunity for local government to come together to take stock and share their experiences of their efforts to prepare for Brexit. Councils are doing everything within their power to prepare vital local services and to limit the effects on residents and communities.
“We are grateful to Welsh Government who have provided funding to support authorities to co-ordinate their local preparations. However, there is a limit to how much local authorities can prepare in the face of such seismic changes, particularly in the context of a disorderly no-deal scenario. Concerns around fuel and food supplies, price volatility and implications of EU settled status, particularly for the social care workforce, are at the forefront of all our minds as October 31st rapidly approaches.
“We will be continuing to work in partnership with Welsh Government to secure the continuation of our vital local services as best we can during this immense period of transition.”
Jeremy Miles, Counsel General and Brexit Minister said:
“As the threat of a disastrous no deal has risen, and our preparatory work increased in intensity, we’ve felt an active withdrawal in engagement from UK Government. Fortunately this has not been the case in Wales. I am grateful to our partners in local government who have engaged and challenged Welsh Government throughout this period and I was delighted to be able to join them at their event to talk about how we can continue to work together to find ways of mitigating the worst effects of Brexit.”
Councillor Alison Evison, President of COSLA said:
“Today was an important opportunity to strengthen further the links between COSLA and the WLGA. We face many similar challenges as we seek to deliver essential services to our communities in the context of Brexit, and we share an interest in continuing steadily along the road of devolution. The connection between our two organisations is valuable as we serve our member councils and direct communities they represent.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
More information on WLGA’s support for local authorities as part of the EU Transition Support Programme can be found here: