Freedom of information response

Brexit planning and funding

Publication date: 
Monday 18 November 2019
Request: 

1. Could you outline what steps Thurrock Council has taken to prepare for Brexit in the event of:
a) a deal being agreed with the European Union

b) no-deal being agreed with the European Union

2. a) Has the council had conversations with central government regarding any additional Brexit contingency funding in light of the borough’s three ports?
b) Could you provide a copy of any correspondence between Thurrock Council and central government about the need for additional contingency funding to prepare for Brexit?
3. On August 21, 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a share of £5million would have handed to local councils which either have or are near to a major port to ensure they continue to operate efficiently when the UK leaves the EU on October 31.
a) Did the Government explain to Thurrock Council why it was not included among the authorities awarded this additional funding?

b) Please provide any correspondence between Thurrock Council and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government related to this funding.
4. How many staff members has the council employed either on a permanent, temporary or contractor basis in order to plan for the impact of Brexit in Thurrock?

5. Has the council undertaken any planning or put together any reports on Brexit planning external of the work conducted by the Essex Resilience Forum – if so, please provide a copy of any reports published by the council, particularly any relating to the impact on ports in Thurrock.

Response: 

1a)      The council has been reviewing and monitoring the likely impact of the UK leaving the EU with partners for a number of leave scenarios including leaving with a deal. There have been no immediate/short term plans required so far in the event of leaving with a deal, however monitoring continues. Any medium/longer term planning implications of leaving the EU with a deal will also continue to be monitored closely.

b)         The council has been monitoring and making preparations for the UK leaving the EU including a no-deal Brexit for many months through both the council’s Brexit working group identifying potential service-related impacts and our close working partnership with the multi-agency Essex Resilience Forum. Any identified risks have contingency plans in place.

2a)      Brexit conversations with central government are through East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) or through the Essex Resilience Forum.  
b)         N/A

3a)      No
b)         N/A

4.         No extra members of staff have been hired to prepare for Brexit. However, one additional agency member of staff is being recruited on a short fixed term contract (funded by the resilience money) to backfill colleagues undertaking the anticipated additional demand on environmental health checks.

5.         Please see answer to 1a and 1b. The council has not published any reports on Brexit planning.

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Request reference:
FOI 9525