GIVING out too much information on how prepared Powys County Council (PCC) is for Brexit could lead to claims of “scaremongering”.

On Monday, October 14, the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance scrutiny committee discussed how prepared the county is for Brexit.

With the UK on the verge of leaving the European Union on October 31, the report gave the committee an overview of what has been done by the authority since the referendum result in June 2016 to identify problems and ways of solving them.

PCC events and civil contingencies project officer Dr Greg Thomas said: “As a local authority we have a duty to prepare for this.

“Brexit moves very quickly, a key date is very much October 19 (next Saturday).

“We should know whether or not a deal has been done, and will be in a better position to get on with our preparations.

“At the moment the default is we will leave on October 31 with or without a deal.

“However the Benn Act means it will be illegal to leave without a deal, so whether or not the government listens to that is a different story.”

Dr Thomas added: “Most of our preparations have been for a no deal Brexit and that follows guidance from the UK Government, Welsh Government and WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association).”

Dr Thomas said that more information was being published on social media channels, information packs being put in libraries as well as a web page on the PCC website that points people towards information they need.

Cllr Iain McIntosh (Conservative, Yscir) said: “I just wonder how much further we should go in announcing what the plans are?

“It could just add to what a lot of people could see as scaremongering.

“All these things are uncertain, this may add to further confusion.”

Corporate Director, Economy and Environment, said: “We are in a difficult position as every authority is and all the team can do is best practice and advice.

“Many of the issues are well beyond our control and all we can do is sign post people to national information which seems the most sensible approach.

In PCC’s Brexit Strategic Risk Register there are 11 risks

They are:

  • Increased demand for services
  • Relocation of people from EU to Powys
  • Fuel shortages
  • Loss of EU grant funding
  • Reduced income for PCC due to possible economic downturn
  • External market factors (ie stock market crash)
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance
  • Potential Finance Crash
  • Unable to recruit/retain staff (EU Nationals)
  • Employee Workload
  • Delays and disruption in supply chain, food and medicines possibly delayed at ports.

Work is being done to address the issues some of which overlap, at three levels:

  • An external Brexit group – working with farming unions, business groups.
  • An Internal Brexit coordination group – representatives from all key service areas.
  • Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum which is led by Dyfed Powys Police and has representatives from emergency services.