Teesside councils and emergency services prepare for doomsday scenarios as Brexit deadline approaches
Emergency plans have been drawn up for a no-deal Brexit on Teesside – but officials remain tight-lipped about the details.
The Cleveland Local Resilience Forum (Cleveland LRF) is the body that plans for major incidents and emergencies in Teesside.
Through the LRF Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, and Redcar and Cleveland councils meet with Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade, North East Ambulance Service, Coastguard and others to prepare for any potential doomsday scenarios.
Covering the same footprint as Cleveland Police, Cleveland LRF ensures our region has “a structure to help agencies plan and prepare for major incidents” including Brexit.
But while the LRF has confirmed it has Brexit plans in place, it remains tight-lipped about the details of what to expect in the case of a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
A Cleveland LRF spokesman said: “Cleveland LRF has ongoing plans for a range of outcomes and eventualities across the area, including Brexit.”
It’s a stance that sharply contrasts with that of Newcastle City Council which on Monday released the detail of its worst-case scenario plans for the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.
The Labour council leader, Nick Forbes, warned of a “full-scale emergency” across Tyneside prompting increased food bank use, restricted bin collections and leaving residents struggling to pay bills.
The council said low-income households would be “disproportionately affected by price rises in utilities and services”, leading to an increase in deprivation.
The council also predicted Brexit-related protests, people not being able to pay their council tax or business rates and even the possibility of the council being unable to carry out bin collections, road repairs, and other basic services if fuel supplies are disrupted.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it remains in regular contact with councils and Local Resilience Forums about Brexit preparedness.
A Government spokeswoman said: “We’re working hard to get the UK ready for Brexit on 31 October, whatever the circumstances.
“We’ve allocated £77million to local government for Brexit preparations and asked every council to appoint a Brexit Lead Officer to work with us to plan intensively for Brexit.
“We will continue to work closely with local leaders to ensure all our communities have the support they need.”