City’s response to Brexit to be debated by executive board

Leeds, Leeds Star

A report setting out the preparation work being undertaken by Leeds City Council to assess and meet the challenges and potential opportunities resulting from Brexit are set to be discussed by senior councillors next week.

As part of a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board on 27 July 2016, members will have the opportunity to consider the initial implications of the EU Referendum decision on the city, and approve a five-point plan on how the authority will address a range of key issues moving forward. This will assist the council’s wider work to provide reassurance and support to residents and businesses and key institutions in the city following a period of uncertainty since Brexit.

The five point plan is as follows:

  • Maintaining progress on major development and infrastructure schemes and economic growth projects – Work closely with partners and the private sector to ensure progress continues to be made on existing projects and in attracting further developments in in the city, whilst also investigating alternative funding streams.
  • Supporting business and key institutions – Provide both advice, support and research assistance to businesses and institutions such as our universities to assess the impact of Brexit and ensure that we can respond to any issues of disinvestment and redundancies.
  • Creating a more tolerant and united city – Reinforce our values as a city and seek to work with all residents to build understanding, tolerance and respect in all of our communities.
  • Securing devolution; and
  • Providing confident, outward-looking leadership and image of Leeds as an international city – Setting out a clear plan for securing international investment, promoting trade and exports, attracting visitors and hosting major events to enhance our image in the world including progressing our plans for the 2023 European Capital of Culture.In setting out the five-point plan, the council has emphasised that if the city is to truly meet and capitalise on the challenges and opportunities presented both in the short-term and long-term from Brexit, more powers must be devolved from Whitehall. This will help ensure that the council has the full range of tools at its disposal to meet any tests that lay ahead in for example supporting both the business and industrial sectors, securing investment and also in creating and protecting jobs.

For a full copy of the executive report, please see: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s148345/EU%20Cover%20Report%20180716.pdf

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“Following the decision to leave the European Union, there has been some uncertainty around what this will mean to our city in a wide range of different areas, whether that is related to investment, growth, housing or jobs. While it is of course simply impossible to know all of the implications as yet, we are determined as a council to ensure that the city is in the best position to not only meet any challenges that may arise from Brexit, but also to capitalise on any opportunities that present themselves.

“As part of this report to the executive board, we have therefore set out a five-point plan outlining the areas which the council will be focusing on during this time of uncertainty. This will provide reassurance and support to residents, partners and businesses through a pro-active, practical approach that is underpinned by our ambition to make Leeds a resilient city with a strong economy.

“While we can be rightly proud of our city, if we are to meet the challenges of Brexit both in the short-term and long- term and continue the progress that has been made to make Leeds somewhere which is an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest, what is absolutely imperative is that more powers are devolved from Whitehall as soon as possible. Only this will provide us with all of the tools that are needed to respond in the best possible way to all of the challenges that lay ahead.”