7 ways Brexit could affect Guildford – and they’re serious

January 11, 2019
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Despite Government’s delay in voting for a Brexit deal, officers at Guildford Borough Council have started looking at how exiting the EU will affect residents and workers in the borough.

According to a report, the delay to Brexit proceedings is making planning for potential risks extremely difficult but preparations have begun.

The paper, entitled Potential Impact of Brexit, will be considered by members of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday, January 15 just after Parliament is due to vote on the Government’s Brexit deal.

It states: “Leaving the EU is not a straightforward process and the impact will take some time to be completely understood due to the levels of integration. As we still do not know the form Brexit will take it is difficult to make a definitive assessment of the potential impact on the council.”

It adds: “The lack of certainty over what is going to happen has made planning for post-Brexit very difficult.”

Despite this the council has set up an officer-led project team including staff from various departments who have been tasked to look at the risks and opportunities for the borough.

So far, a number of issues have been flagged.

 

1. Increased pressure on funding

Guildford Borough Council officers note that although the authority does not receive any EU funding there will still be “increased pressure on any future government funding” due to the loss of grants.

2. Businesses will leave the borough

The report says there is a “risk that companies will relocate out of the borough” which will have a negative impact on inward investment from property rents.

Any economic pressures on the country will have a knock-on effect on Guildford but officers are not anticipating a significant impact on borrowing costs.

3. Property rental and parking incomes at risk

Should the country go into recession because of Brexit however, Guildford officers say economic risk will be on investment property rental income and parking income.

4. Services will need to be reviewed

Regulatory services will have to be reviewed as they are currently governed by EU legislation.

 

5. Increased homelessness and benefit applicants

Officers fear homelessness may increase due to pressure on housing and reduction in new developments with a recession also leading to a rise in the number of housing and council tax benefit applications.

6. Local Plan consequences

And Brexit could even affect the council’s ability to deliver its Local Plan if falling house prices affect development projects.

7. Data use

The council also needs to clarify how it will store data on its IT systems.

The report concludes: “The current situation is in a state of flux and issues will change depending on whether there is an agreement over the next few weeks. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations we need to be in a position to limit the risks to the council and to identify new opportunities as and when they arise.”

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/7-ways-brexit-could-affect-15660180


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