Local authorities across England will receive a share of £56.5 million to help support their preparations for Brexit, ministers announced today (28 January 2019).
The Treasury announced in December that MHCLG would receive £35 million to prepare for Brexit. MHCLG has now added an extra £21.5 million funding using finance from its 2018 to 2019 budget.
Councils will receive £20 million this financial year (2018 to 2019) and £20 million in 2019 to 2020 to spend on planning and strengthening their resources.
A further £10 million will be available in the next financial year (2019 to 2020). This funding is intended to help local authorities with specific costs which may arise following Brexit.
£1.5 million will be allocated in 2018 to 2019 only to local authorities facing immediate impacts from local ports, with the decision on the allocation and distribution of that funding to be announced shortly.
A further £5 million will be split by teams in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities, and Local Resilience Forums for specific purposes such as strengthening preparations and supporting communities.
The funding will help councils to adapt to the changes caused by Brexit, ensuring their local authority is prepared ahead of 29 March, whilst also protecting vital local services.
Councils will decide how to allocate their funding. It is expected that money will be spent on resources like recruiting extra staff to ensure councils have the capacity to provide timely and accurate information to residents who have questions on how Brexit will affect them.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, 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.
This funding will not be the only resource councils receive from central government to fund Brexit costs. The government has been clear that departments will assess and, if appropriate, fund any potential new requirements of councils as part of EU Exit work they are undertaking.
The Secretary of State will also continue to engage with the sector through the EU Exit Local Government Delivery Board and regular communications with stakeholders across the sector.
This announcement applies to local authorities in England.
As a share of the £40 million allocated to local authorities across the financial years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020, all unitary councils will receive £210,000 and combine authorities will receive £182,000. County councils will receive £175,000 each and all district councils will receive £35,000.
The EU Exit Local Government Delivery Board, chaired by the Communities Secretary, has been set-up so council leaders can talk to ministers about domestic Brexit preparations. The Board has met 4 times including on 24 January 2019 and is now meeting monthly.
The government is in regular contact with councils about Brexit preparedness and is working closely with organisations like the Local Government Association to share information.
The Secretary of State’s Written Ministerial Statement has been published.