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Government issues guidance for local authorities on Brexit preparations

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued guidance to assist local authority preparedness for Brexit and announced that it will provide £56.5m in financial support to councils in England.

The guidance, which can be viewed here, covers:

  • Statutory services;
  • Regulatory services;
  • Border areas;
  • Supply chains;
  • Data handling;
  • Local partnership working;
  • Communications;
  • Regional and local growth.

The Ministry said: “Local government is critical to delivering a successful Brexit. Our objective is to champion local government and help them to influence, prepare, adapt and innovate in response to Brexit and ensure a successful transition phase with minimal impact on council services and local people.”

The funding includes an extra £21.5m on top of the £35m announced by the Treasury in December 2018. These funds are split as follows:

  • Councils will receive £20m this financial year (2018 to 2019) and £20m in 2019 to 2020 “to spend on planning and strengthening their resources”. All unitary councils will receive £210,000 and combined authorities will receive £182,000. County councils will receive £175,000 each and all district councils will receive £35,000;
  • A further £10m will be available in the next financial year (2019 to 2020). “This funding is intended to help local authorities with specific costs which may arise following Brexit”;
  • £1.5m will be allocated in 2018 to 2019 only to local authorities facing immediate impacts from local ports. The decision on the allocation and distribution of that funding will be announced shortly.
  • A further £5m will be split by teams in the Ministry, local authorities, and Local Resilience Forums for specific purposes “such as strengthening preparations and supporting communities”.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire 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.”

Last week Lawyers in Local Government issued a position paper on the legal implications of Brexit for local government.

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