CALDERDALE Council is appointing a Brexit Lead Officer as it continues to prepare for the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

And the authority's Cabinet is set to discuss impacts on the borough when it meets on September 2.

Zohrah Zancudi, the council’s Director of Public Services, will lead its preparations for Brexit, including resilience planning.

Prior to Cabinet, scrutiny councillors will discuss Brexit when it meets next Thursday, August 29, with briefing papers highlighting concerns about the impact on Calderdale exporting businesses, which could be among those more seriously impacted in the country, and vulnerable people, particularly in case of impacts on food supplies.

Ms Zancudi’s appointment is included within the Cabinet report on continuing work undertaken by the council to identify and manage the risks and potential impact of leaving the European Union on Calderdale, including if the Uk leaves under a “No Deal” scenario.

Cabinet began receiving leaving situation updates last autumn and has considered them at regular intervals.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that the UK will formally leave the EU on October 31 with or without a withdrawal agreement.

His new Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has asked all local authorities to designate a senior officer to lead on Brexit preparations within their borough.

Local authorities have been notified that there will be £20 million additional funding available nationally to aid local authorities’ preparation for Brexit with the allocation to unitary authorities, such as Calderdale, being £104,000.

This is additional to the £105,000 already allocated by the Government to Calderdale in the current year.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said it was clear that whether the UK left the EU with or without a deal there were significant risks and impacts for the UK and consequently for Calderdale.

“During this period of uncertainty we have been developing and implementing action plans to help manage a no deal departure,” he said.

The Government has asked local authorities to work with their Local Resilience Forum to assess the potential impact of leaving the EU on local communities and

Calderdale Council is contributing to West Yorkshire’s Local Resilience Forum resilience plans, said Coun Swift.

Calderdale has also set up a Brexit group which will review the risks both for Calderdale and for individual council services and identify any mitigation which is required.

Officers are working with health colleagues on contingency planning and are also collating and co-ordinating information sharing with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and other local authorities, says the report to Cabinet.

The council is working with local businesses to make sure they are aware of all the latest information and updates from the Government on managing a no deal exit.