The Corporate Resources Director will submit a report (Document “AD”) which advises members on progress to date in preparing for the impact of Brexit, including a no deal Brexit, and the actions proposed to deal with identified issues.
It must be stressed that the current situation is highly uncertain and liable to change. At the time of writing, a range of options remain open, including a no deal Brexit. The Prime Minister will be negotiating with EU partners and due to return to Parliament on the 14th February for a vote on a final deal.
That the Committee note the report and offer their views on the issues and actions identified.
(Phil Witcherley - 01274 431241)
The Corporate Resources Director submitted a report (Document “AD”) which advised members on progress to date in preparing for the impact of Brexit, including a no deal Brexit, and the actions proposed to deal with identified issues.
It was stressed that the current situation was highly uncertain and liable to change. At the time of writing, a range of options remained open, including a no deal Brexit. The Prime Minister had been negotiating with EU partners and due to return to Parliament on the 14th February for a vote on a final deal.
The Council was undertaking work in a number of areas pertaining to Brexit including implementing a scheme to support settlement status within our own workforce; engaging with partners such as the Chamber of Commerce around wider business and employment issues affecting the district; working with partners in the voluntary and community sector to develop a bid to support the most vulnerable residents. To this end a community consultation event was held on 13 February and it was a very successful event, which was attended by over 50 community group representatives and highlighted issues around impact of Brexit and the impact on community cohesion issues, and the potential for an increase in hate crimes; to this end it was important to celebrate the strengths of Bradford as a diverse community.
In addition it was mentioned that the feedback from the consultation event will be used to inform proposals for how best to spend the additional funding announced by Government in late January.
It was also important to identify specific issues that we can take back to Government, for example around passport and other status documentation, and how to advise and help people who had misplaced their documentation.
During the discussions a number of Members reaffirmed the need for the Council to ensure that Looked After children were supported through the Brexit process. In response it was stated that the sufficiency team in Children’s Services could be approached on the issue specifically.
A Member stated that he had real concerns around the potential for a surge in hate crime post Brexit. In response it was stated that the community event last night addressed this issue amongst other things, and it was important to ensure we had a grasp of the situation as well as reach out and support the hard to reach communities like the Roma community around settlement status and community cohesion.
A Member also stated that the actions of the far right and their potential to stir up hatred in the district should also be closely monitored, so that we are prepared.
A Member also stated that procurement should also be proactive in terms of how contracts will be procured in the coming months and that we are clear which rules we are working to. In response it was mentioned that some work around procurement and Brexit had already been done.
(1) That this Committee requests a report to be presented which specifically focuses on the community cohesion issues across the district related to Brexit.
(2) That a verbal update on Brexit be presented at the 21 March meeting of the Committee.
(3) That it be recommended to the Executive that the status of Looked After Children be adopted by the Council.
ACTION: Strategic Director Corporate Resources