The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government has been asked to report on communities known to be “geographically vulnerable” to disruption to food supplies in a no-deal scenario, it has emerged.
A document leaked to the Times newspaper from a meeting of the government EU exit and trade (preparedness) committee, chaired by Theresa May, said the ministry should collect information on this and any other potential impacts from local resilience forums. These forums map onto police force areas and include councils and other local agencies.
The document also says all government departments have been asked to assess local government readiness and return new burdens funding assessments “as soon as possible”.
The meeting, attended by almost every cabinet minister, also agreed that the ministry should work with the Treasury, Home Office and departments for work and pensions, health social care and education on a potential “hardship fund”. The Times said this was expected to be a “pot of money for which workers who have lost their jobs could apply via the government’s network of jobcentres around the country”.
The Treasury and DWP have also been asked to look at how tax and benefits policy could be used to mitigate the impact of increases in cost of living on vulnerable groups in society.
ALL DEPARTMENTS to report on local government readiness, and return new burdens assessments and capacity funding allocation as soon as possible to the DEPARTMENT FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION and the MINISTRY OF HOUSING, COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.— Henry Zeffman (@hzeffman) February 25, 2019