Local authorities with major ports to receive funding boost to help with Brexit preparations
Nineteen local authorities facing impacts from a local air, land or sea port will receive a share of £3.14 million to help them prepare for Brexit, the Communities Secretary confirmed earlier this week (20 February 2019).
Nineteen district and unitary councils across England will receive £136,362 to the end of April for each major port of entry into the UK in their area.
This will allow them to increase their resources to work through the immediate impacts from Brexit in their local areas such as ensuring their port’s resilience and potential impacts of greater traffic to surrounding communities.
The allocations have been based on a number of factors including the amount of EU goods each port area receives into the country and its wider importance to the UK’s global trade network.
The funding is part of the £56.5 million announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last month to help councils adapt to the changes caused by Brexit, ensuring their local authority is prepared ahead of 29 March, whilst also protecting vital local services.
An additional £1.64 million has been added from departmental underspends to bring the total funding available to local authorities with a port of entry to £3.14 million.
The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “Local authorities have a critical role to play in making a success of Brexit.
“I am acutely aware a greater burden could be placed on the areas surrounding our ports. I have announced how we are allocating £3.14 million to those areas considered to be under the greatest pressure from Brexit.
“I will continue to take the situation under review, working closely with local leaders to ensure they are prepared to respond to Brexit.”
The local authorities which will receive funding are: Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Thanet, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, Ashford, Gravesham, Dartford, Camden, Manchester City Council, North West Leicestershire, Uttlesford, Hillingdon, Crawley, Tendring, and Suffolk Coastal.
Ports of entry within these local authorities are: Port of Dover, Eurotunnel, Ramsgate, Goole, Hull, Grimsby, Immingham (DBP, DfDS and C. Ro), Portsmouth, Southampton General, Southampton Container, Ashford, Ebbsfleet, St Pancras, Manchester Airport, East Midlands Airport, Stansted Airport, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Harwich, and Felixstowe.
See the written ministerial statement for more details on the individual allocations.
The Treasury announced in December that MHCLG would receive £35 million to prepare for Brexit. MHCLG has added the extra £21.5 million funding using finance from its 2018 to 2019 budget.
Councils will receive £20 million this financial year (2018 to 2019) and next (2019 to 2020) to spend on planning and strengthening resources.
As a share of this £40 million, all unitary councils will receive £210,000 and combined authorities will receive £182,000. County councils will receive £175,000 each and all district councils will receive £35,000.
A further £5 million will be split by teams in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities, and Local Resilience Forums for specific purposes such as strengthening preparations and building community cohesion.
A further £10 million will be available in the next financial year (2019 to 2020). This funding is intended to help local authorities with specific costs which may arise following Brexit.
The EU Exit Local Government Delivery Board, chaired by the Communities Secretary, has been set up so council leaders can talk to Ministers about domestic Brexit preparations. The Board has met four times, including on 24 January 2019, and is now meeting monthly.
The government is in regular contact with councils about Brexit preparedness and is working closely with organisations like the Local Government Association to share information.
This funding will not be the only resource councils receive from central government to fund Brexit costs. The government has been clear that departments will assess and, if appropriate, fund any potential new requirements of councils as part of EU Exit work they are undertaking.
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