Task force set up to tackle impact of Brexit on Blackpool

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Risks from Brexit which could disrupt council services include the breakdown of supplies of fuel and medicine, town hall leaders have warned.

But Blackpool Council's chief executive Neil Jack said the authority would ensure the resort's most vulnerable residents were protected.

Blackpool Council is preparing for Brexit

Blackpool Council is preparing for Brexit

A special council task force has been examining the potential impact of leaving Europe on issues ranging from procurement and staffing to having enough fuel to keep social workers on the road.

Mr Jack told a meeting of the Audit Committee that while there was lots of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the council had to be as prepared as possible to deal with the consequences.

He said: "Most of the risk we cannot manage. If fuel doesn't arrive in the UK, we can't manage that.

"But we can understand the implications and how we prioritise where those resources go. It's about being ready to mitigate the consequences.

"We can't manage the supply of fuel to Blackpool but we can make sure vulnerable people are prioritised."

He added priorities might mean "not cutting the grass when we need to go out and deal with health care."

The council, which is also responsible for public health, is also liaising with partners in other public services such as the NHS around issues such as maintaining medical supplies.

Councillors were told NHS guidance requires the stockpiling of no more than six weeks worth of medicines.

Steve Thompson, director of resources at the council, said other issues being considered included the number of EU nationals working in areas such as adult social care.

This had been found to be quite low, but EU nationals employed by the council were being advised about what action to take.

Information is also being shared with businesses, while Mr Thompson said the economic effects could include an impact on the value of the council's assets and investments.