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Only 5 per cent of UK council leaders 'optimistic' about Brexit

By Tom Walker    30 Oct 2019
Nearly half (49.2) of council leaders said health and wellbeing services had already been affected 'negatively or very negatively' due to Brexit preparations / Shutterstock

Nearly three in four (71 per cent) local authority chiefs expect the UK's exit from the European Union to have a ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’ impact on their local economy.

The figure comes from the New Local Government Network’s (NLGN) latest Leadership Index, which also show that only 5 per cent of council leaders expect Brexit to have a 'positive' or 'very positive' impact.

Other key findings are that 79 per cent of councils have already had to divert resources from key public service priorities to prepare for Brexit.

Worryingly for leisure services, half (49.2) of councils said that health and wellbeing services had already been affected "negatively or very negatively" due to Brexit preparations, while 48.9 per cent said there had been no effect.

Only 1.9 per cent of council leaders claimed that the prospect of Brexit had somehow had a positive effect on health and wellbeing.

The Leadership Index is a quarterly survey of UK council leaders, CEOs and mayors, which charts the level of confidence across key service areas – alongside topical questions.

The overall trend seems to be that – as the facts are becoming clearer on what the UK leaving the EU actually means to local funding – even those council chiefs who were previously positive or neutral about Brexit are reconsidering whether there will be any benefit at all.

Since March 2018, the proportion of respondents who expect Brexit to have a negative or very negative impact on their local economy has increased from 61.1 to 70.7 per cent – a 16 per cent increase in less than two years.

To download and read the full report, click here.

Brexit  local authority 
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