County Cllr Julie Gibson, Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Development has called on the Government to address the concerns of Local Authorities in a future Brexit Deal. In a submission prepared by the Labour Group and to be submitted via the Local Government Association, Cllr Gibson outlines the Labour Group concerns in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.
Cllr Gibson said: “With six months to go we are worried that the concerns of Local Government in relation to Brexit are being forgotten amid the fall out of the Chequers Agreement and Tory Party in-fighting. While we hope that there is a deal to be done, local councils will be the ones left to deal with the consequence of a “no deal” Brexit. With this in mind we have outlined to Government some assurances we would like to see to ensure we can still deliver for the people of Lancashire.”
In the submission, Cllr Gibson outlines 3 main areas of concern to the Labour Group: the continuation and eventual replacement of EU funding; Growth and Trade; the status of EU workers many of whom provide vital Council services.
Cllr Gibson said: “Many council services are provided by staff from across the EU. Our schools, health service and many regeneration programmes are dependent on their labour. We need some assurances from Government that our services won’t suffer if we lose these vital staff.
She continued: “Local authority trading standards and environmental health teams have access to many EU databases to help with their enforcement work. There is a real concern that reduced access or no access, to these in the event of a “no deal’ could impact on the enforcement work that is carried out.
Cllr Gibson said: “Lancashire County Council has already seen its funding slashed by this Government and the uncertainty that this has caused in many services. We urgently ask the Government to take on board our concerns to avoid us having to cope with further costs in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.