MY VIEW - Is your council Brexit ready?

Monday 23 September 2019

The risk of a no deal Brexit remain high. Councils need to be prepared. What are you doing to manage no deal Brexit risks?

It is critical councils do everything they can (within limited resources) to prepare and mitigate the most significant risks that could impact on the organisation, services and the community.

Councils across the UK have already made considerable effort to provide assurance on their readiness to respond quickly to manage the implications of a no deal Brexit.

Councils also need to test their ability to manage the ongoing implications and threats of ongoing no deal Brexit issues in the medium and long-term.

Priorities, pressures and risks may differ across councils, and the scale and detail of mitigations may also vary. However, a hard Brexit is a nationwide risk, so it is important for councils to apply, as far as possible, a consistent local and regional framework.

Immediate no deal Brexit planning includes:

  • Emergency management
  • Business continuity
  • Community cohesion and community tension
  • Key supplies and services, and supply chain issues
  • Local economies
  • Food price rises.

No deal Brexit checklist

Consider these areas:

  1. How, and how often, do we assess our council’s preparedness to deal with the implications of a no deal Brexit. Who is ultimately accountable? Who do people report concerns to?
  2. How do we scrutinise arrangements to ensure assessments of risk, mitigations and preparations are considered and tested?
  3. Are we confident in the sustainability of critical supply chains, particularly for schools and social services.
  4. Have we identified and engaged key suppliers - and do we know their business continuity arrangements?
  5. Do we understand the implications (both financial and organisational) of increased demand for services?
  6. Do we understand the potential need from communities that are just above the threshold to qualify for support, but may suddenly and urgently require help?
  7. Do we have the capacity to increase (swiftly) access to welfare systems?
  8. Are there business support arrangements to assist businesses with cash flow problems?
  9. Are we working with other councils to join up across local, regional and national boundaries?

Kerry Donovan, Change and Performance Manager at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and ALARM Board Director

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