(Mr. D. Connolly, Environmental Health Manager, attended in connection with this item)
The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
The purpose of this report is to outline for Members work that is currently being undertaken in relation to the Council’s Brexit Day 1 preparedness.
Members are asked to note this update.
3.0 Main report
Members are reminded that that the Committee was updated at its February meeting on the work that is ongoing in relational to identifying potential Day 1 service implications in relation to Brexit. Members will be aware that there is currently uncertainty around whether there will be a deal/type of deal and timings around exit, therefore Officers are currently preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario and the following actions are being undertaken:
1) The Council’s critical services are completing Brexit Resilience Measures templates to identify the potential impact that Brexit may have on service delivery over the 8-week period from 19 March to 10 May and the necessary resilience measures that need to be taken before 29 March.
2) Responsible officers are reviewing and updating their Business Continuity Plan ensuring that it deals with service delivery post Brexit, and are communicating it to staff before 29 March.
Members were also advised that from 19 March emergency planning staff will provide situational reporting and daily position statements to the Council’s senior management team on critical services. A process for internal situational reporting has now been developed, critical services will be asked to email the report to the Emergency Co-ordination Centre (ECC) email address each morning in order to allow Emergency Planning to collate the information and escalate any emerging issues. Collated information will be sent to the reporting points on a daily basis and where appropriate forwarded to Chief Officers, Heads of Services, Corporate Communications and Elected Members.
Officers are also working with relevant partners in relation to external situational reporting and will report on a daily basis into a central command hub, when this has been confirmed it will be added into the internal reporting process.
Members are advised that SOLACE have developed a risk register that consists of 16 main council level risks that need to be considered in light of Brexit. Each risk has an associated outline action plan for councils to consider in preparing for the risk. The risk register also deals with possible impacts post Day 1 and to the wider Council area and not just the organisation. Officers are currently working on completing the risk register and continue to participate in SOLACE’s Brexit Task and Finish Group.
Members are also advised that relevant officers continue to meet and work with DEARA regarding export certification to ensure that all relevant processes and procedures will be in place prior to Brexit.
4.0 Financial and Resource Implications
There are no financial implications relating to this report but the work that is being undertaken to further define potential day 1 impacts, risks and mitigations may have financial and resource implications and these will be reported to Members as required. It is likely that there will be direct costs associated with preparing for Brexit e.g. in relation to civil contingency planning, and where possible these will be claimed back from central government.
Members should note that the Council has not included an increase in its recurrent budgets because of the uncertainty, however, if one-off costs are to be incurred these will be financed through Council’s general reserves
5.0 Equality or Good Relations Implications/
Rural Needs Assessment
There are no implications relating to this report.”
In response to a number of questions from the Committee, the Environmental Health Manager explained that, with regards to speculation of food shortages, food resilience work was ongoing with other organisations with whom primary responsibilities lie and it was envisaged that there may be shortages of particular items, but at this stage it was anticipated that there would not be a food crisis.
Following further discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the report.