The Policy and Business Development Officer, Head of HR, City Services Manager (Resources and Fleet) and the City Protection Manager presented the Committee with an update in respect of the following report:
1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
The purpose of this report is to update Members on the process to review the readiness of the council’s critical and other key services for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020.
Members are asked to note the contents of this report.
3.0 Main report
Members are reminded that a process to review the readiness of the council’s critical and other key services for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020 has been ongoing. The aim is to provide assurance to Committee and senior management that the Council’s critical services will be ready for the end of the transition period and to identify any further actions that may need to be taken. The services were asked to review and update the readiness templates that they had produced previously (September 19) and an analysis of the returns is currently underway.
Some of the key issues raised include:
· All of our critical services continue to seek assurances that from partners and suppliers that they have suitable contingency plans in place to deal with any negative impacts of Brexit.
· Food Safety, Port Health and Waste & Fleet services remain the key critical services which are likely to experience the greatest impact as a result of a ‘no free trade deal’ Brexit. There remains uncertainty and lack of clarity around the checks that will be required for the movement of goods from GB to NI and vice versa and the potential costs involved.
· Six of the fifteen critical services noted that there had been no change to their assessments since their last Brexit readiness review in September 2019.
· There may be financial and other impacts upon council services in terms of availability and access to goods and components, supplier backlogs and costs passed on by suppliers to cover increased tariffs and resources required to carry out additional administrative duties.
· It is possible that we could see an increase in lead times and costs of supplies for various services given the increased checks required for goods moving from GB to NI.
· Emergency planning has noted that a no free trade deal Brexit will represent a concurrent emergency in addition to Covid-19 and Autumn / Winter adverse weather pressures. The service has implemented several resilience measures to manage this scenario.
· It is possible that Brexit could affect staffing for EU nationals (particularly for Fleet) and for EU funded posts. Corporate HR has noted that departments are currently collating this information in order to assess any impact.
· In summary, a wide range of worst case risks have been considered by all of the critical services. These ranged from delays in obtaining suppliers, staff not being able to get to work or access IT, and potential civil unrest. While some uncertainty remains, services are actively putting arrangements in place to mitigate or manage the risks identified through this process.
Officers from key services will be present at the Committee meeting to address Member queries.
Officers are currently working with services to identify measures that are in place, or that can be implemented if needed, to support businesses and vulnerable people in the city. This is being undertaken in context of Covid 19 planning and an update will be brought to the December meeting of this Committee on this work.
Financial & Resource Implications
There are no financial or resource implications relating to this report.
Equality or Good Relations Implications/Rural Needs Assessment
There are no implications relating to this report.”
The Committee noted the report and associated presentation.