Mark Whitehead 29 January 2019

Councils to receive £56.5m to prepare for Brexit

Local authority leaders have welcomed a £56.5m handout from the Government to cover costs resulting from Brexit over the next two years, plus a pledge that any future costs will be fully funded.

The money, announced by communities secretary James Brokenshire, is part of an allocation to the ministry of housing, communities and local government to deal with the UK's departure from the EU set to take place on March 29.

The Local Government Association said councils were as fully prepared for Brexit as they could be considering the 'uncertainty' involved.

Mr Brokenshire said English councils will be given £20m this financial year and £20m next year to spend on planning and strengthening their resources.

Unitary councils will receive £210,000 and combined authorities will be given £182,000. County councils will receive £175,000 each and district councils £35,000.

A further £10m will be set aside to 'respond to specific local costs that may only become evident in the months after we exit the EU,' Mr Brokenshire said, and £1.5m will be allocated to local authorities with ports.

Mr Brokenshire, who chairs the EU exit local government delivery board set up to enable council leaders to talk to Whitehall, said local authorities had a 'critical role to play in making a success of Brexit in their areas'.

Cllr Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s Brexit taskforce, said: 'The UK’s exit from the EU will have a significant impact on local government.

'It is positive that the Government has allocated additional resources to local government for Brexit preparations, and has listened to the LGA by making some of the funding available this year.

'Councils are taking a lead on preparations for Brexit and are as prepared as they can be for it given the gaps in information and uncertainty surrounding the process.

'We are pleased that the Government has confirmed that any additional responsibilities resulting in new financial pressures for councils arising from Brexit will be fully funded.'

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