£50m to support councils’ Brexit preparations

Ministers have announced that local authorities across England will receive a share of £56.5 million to help support their preparations for Brexit.

The Treasury had announced in December that the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government would receive £35 million to prepare for Brexit, but has now added an extra £21.5 million funding using finance from its 2018 to 2019 budget.

This means that councils will receive £20 million this financial year and £20 million in 2019 to 2020 to spend on planning and strengthening their resources. A further £10 million will then be available in the next financial year (2019 to 2020), with ministers saying that this extra financing is intended to help local authorities with specific costs which may arise following Brexit.

More specifically, £1.5 million will be allocated this year to local authorities facing immediate impacts from local ports, with the decision on the allocation and distribution of that funding to be announced shortly.

Councils can decide how to allocate their funding, although it is expected that money will be spent on resources like recruiting extra staff to ensure authorities have the capacity to provide timely and accurate information to residents who have questions on how Brexit will affect them.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Local authorities have a critical role to play in making a success of Brexit in their areas. I’m determined to ensure councils have the resources they need, which is why I’m releasing £56.5 million of extra finance to help them to deliver essential services and keep residents well-informed. I will continue to work closely with local leaders to ensure they are prepared to respond to any Brexit scenario.”