VULNERABLE adults who rely on the support of care workers could be affected if Britain leaves the European Union (EU) on October 31, councillors have been warned.
Staff shortages and tracking illegal goods through trading standards are among the problems Brexit could create for Surrey County Council, according to a report.
The council has been given £87,500 from a £20million pot from central government to aid Brexit preparations. District and borough councils are set to get £17,484.
A number of problems had been identified with suggestions on how they could be addressed, and they were presented recently to councillors at a cabinet meeting.
Here are five of the ways Brexit will impact Surrey County Council – according to the cabinet report:
* Trading Standards – The council uses some EU databases that help support service delivery, for instance, to help Trading Standards understand which goods, foods, and businesses pose any threats.
There are also databases and servers based in EU member states. The council is maintaining a “watching brief” and aligning contingency plans with government guidance.
* Staff shortages with suppliers – Potential staff shortages with contractors, particularly those who provide care and construction workers, affecting some of the most vulnerable residents. The council is liaising with providers and suppliers and is establishing contingency plans.
* Traffic management – Congestion building up on Surrey roads due to border delays and lorries stacking up on motorways leading to the ports. The council is working with its counterparts in Kent to minimise any potential implications on Surrey’s transport network.
* Surrey County Council’s workforce – If non-UK EU staff choose to leave or relocate there may be reduced capacity to deliver core services. The council has been providing regular updates to staff around citizens’ rights, as well as helping staff with any paperwork to help them remain in the country.
* Communicating to residents – The council has a role in place-shaping, which entails creating an environment for businesses to flourish and supporting other organisations.
There is a web page on Surrey County Council’s website providing key information and guidance, supporting the government’s Get Ready for Brexit campaign.