Laura Sharman 06 March 2018

Council chiefs 'pessimistic' about Brexit

More than six out of ten council chief executives and leaders believe Brexit will be damaging to their local economy, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by the New Local Government Network, found only 12% believe Brexit will have a positive or very positive impact on their local economy.

Adam Lent, director of the New Local Government Network, said: 'Councils continue to face unprecedented financial pressures and growing uncertainty regarding their future funding. Weaker local economies would lead to a lower ability to raise revenue through business rates – something which local services will increasingly come to rely upon.

'This means there is a real risk that local tax payers will be left picking up the bill – either by significant raises to council tax, or the reduction in the services that councils can deliver.'

The research also found the majority of council chiefs are 'dissatisfied' with the help provided by central government in preparing for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. Only 4% said they had received 'adequate' support, with 68% saying Whitehall was failing to help them plan for Brexit.

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