Hartlepool council leader snubs town MP's request for Brexit meeting
A war of words has broken out between Hartlepool’s MP and the borough council’s new leader over preparations for Brexit.
MP Mike Hill wrote to Coun Shane Moore, who heads the pro-Brexit coalition which controls the authority, after the release of documents relating to Operation Yellow Hammer, the Government’s preparations for when the UK leaves the European Union asking for a meeting.
He said: “Certain aspects of Operation Yellow Hammer are quite clear in stating that the base case scenario would include a serious hit to social care.
“Coupling this with rises in the prices of certain foods which are imported, contain ingredients that are imported or are packaged elsewhere, the Government quite clearly advise that this will hit vulnerable people the hardest. “Given that Hartlepool has a higher than average number of vulnerable people already living in poverty, it is imperative that our local authority is fully prepared for any eventuality.
“With potential food, medicine and fuel shortages, coupled with potential for civil unrest, which would stretch our already thin Police Force, we could face a significant threat to living standards.”
He went on to request a meeting with Coun Moore and senior officers to discuss the council’s preparations – but the council leader snubbed the offer.
“After being in post for nearly five months without any formal contact from you on this matter, it is encouraging to see you suddenly taking an urgent interest,” he wrote.
“Hartlepool Borough Council, under new leadership, is working with the Government to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. We are also ready and willing to take advantage of all the opportunities Brexit will bring.
“I would also state that our officers have been working in conjunction with other authority leads in the region and government departments since 2016 to ensure that Hartlepool is prepared for any eventuality.
“Therefore, whilst I appreciate your new found interest in this subject, I have considered your request to meet with us and I fail to see what the benefit of such a meeting would be, nor what you would be able to bring to the table.”