Coun­cil blasted over lack of Brexit re­port

SNP mem­ber says lo­cal au­thor­ity must pro­duce im­pact as­sess­ment in bid to pre­pare for fall­out

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - JANET THOM­SON jath­om­[email protected]­

An An­gus coun­cil­lor has slammed the rul­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “it will be all right on the night” at­ti­tude to­wards Brexit and the im­pact it will have on the lo­cal econ­omy.

Lynne Devine, SNP mem­ber for For­far and District, has urged the rul­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion to call for a re­port from the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s Brexit com­mit­tee as a mat­ter of ur­gency and ques­tioned why an im­pact as­sess­ment had not al­ready been car­ried out.

She de­scribed the de­lay in ask­ing for a re­port to be con­sid­ered at com­mit­tee level as “in­tol­er­a­ble” and warned coun­cil ser­vices will be af­fected by the Brexit fall­out.

At the coun­cil’s pol­icy and re­sources com­mit­tee meet­ing in For­far, Ms Devine said there were many con­cerns among the pub­lic as to how Brexit will im­pact their lives and their liveli­hoods.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, coun­cil­lors were asked to con­sider three re­ports on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment busi­ness sup­port and in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties for a pe­riod cov­er­ing Septem­ber 8 to Novem­ber 27.

Ms Devine said: “We have three re­views but I feel the ad­min­is­tra­tion should have asked for a Brexit re­port.

“At this par­tic­u­lar time there are so many con­cerns among the pub­lic. This will have an im­pact on the econ­omy of An­gus, its ser­vices, its food pro­duc­tion.”

Coun­cil leader David Fair­weather noted Ms Devine’s com­ments but af­ter the meet­ing she stressed the ur­gency for de­tails to be made avail­able.

She said: “Only to­day, the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses came out ask­ing for help for its mem­bers to pre­pare them­selves for Brexit.

“There are so many voices out there des­per­ately wor­ried about food short­ages, medicine short­ages – some peo­ple are very fright­ened about that.

“In ar­eas of the econ­omy, peo­ple are need­ing to know what will hap­pen to the EU staff and to their mar­kets in the case of man­u­fac­tur­ing and farm­ing.

“The NHS, care homes, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, hospi­tal­ity, restau­rants and ho­tels are not in any way get­ting re­as­sur­ance.

“My point is this will im­pact on our com­mu­ni­ties, our econ­omy and will, in the long run, af­fect our coun­cil ser­vices.

“But this ad­min­is­tra­tion seems to think it’ll be all right on the night and are not pre­par­ing for the worst case sce­nario.”

With no com­mit­tee meet­ing in De­cem­ber due to the fes­tive pe­riod, Ms Devine added the ear­li­est com­mit­tee mem­bers will be able to con­sider a re­port will be Jan­uary 29, which she found to be “in­tol­er­a­ble”.

“At this par­tic­u­lar time there are so many con­cerns among the pub­lic. This will have an im­pact on the econ­omy of An­gus, its ser­vices, its food pro­duc­tion. COUN­CIL­LOR LYNNE DEVINE

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