Government cash boost for Hartlepool Borough Council for Brexit preparations

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Council bosses are to be given extra cash to help prepare for Brexit.

Ministers announced this week they had set aside a £56.6m fund to help local authorities across the country plan for the impact of the UK leaving the EU, with or without a deal.

There is also the possibility of more money being handed out to deal with anything that comes up after the current official leaving date of March 29.

Unitary authorities, like Hartlepool Borough Council, are expected to get about £210,000, spread over two payments, from a fund worth about £40m.

Council bosses said they are still awaiting some clarity over how much they will receive, but reiterated they are working with organisations in the town to prepare for Brexit.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “There is still some lack of clarity nationally on what exactly the Government’s announcement means for local authorities and we are awaiting further clarification of our funding allocation and how it is being calculated.

“We would also take this opportunity to reiterate what we said a few days ago.

“Despite the national uncertainties currently surrounding the Brexit process and a lack of specific information coming from national Government, we are working with other key organisations across the town and region to try to anticipate the range of potential eventualities and do whatever we can to minimise any potential disruption which may arise.”  

The Government has set aside a further £1.5m to help councils facing disruption at ports.

Additionally £10m is being held back until after Brexit and £5m will be kept for the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government to carry out its own preparations.

James Brokenshire MP, the Communities Secretary, 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.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service