BRADFORD Council has agreed to hold just over £100,000 in additional Government funding to cover any last minute eventualities ahead of the country's planned exit from the EU at the end of this month.

Along with other local authorities, the Council was awarded £210,000 earlier in the year for Brexit preparations.

Today's executive meeting heard that the majority of this had been spent on supporting EU residents living in Bradford in applying for settled status, so they can remain in the country.

They must apply by December 2020 in the event of a no deal.


Officers explained to senior councillors that £160,000 of this money had been allocated to support the setting up of five community hubs.

These partnerships with voluntary and community sector organisations are offering support and guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme, particularly to vulnerable people.

Further money has been spent on a poster campaign and creating a Brexit page on the Council's website.

In addition the Home Office has agreed to provide further funds to local authorities applying for settled status for children in its care.

An additional £104,000 awarded by the Government in August will now be ”held in readiness to deploy to cover eventualities which the Council may need to react to over the coming weeks in this fast changing environment".

Leader of the Council, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said: "Our EU citizens who are Bradfordians are very welcome in the district and we want to make sure they can continue to contribute to the economy as the do now."

Of the support being offered to EU nationals in the district, she added: "Depending on what happens on October 31, I think we are going to see and increase in demand, particularly if there is a hard Brexit."

A report on the Council's preparations for Brexit, which was discussed at the meeting, outlines how out of an estimated 37,000 EU nationals living in the Bradford district, just 5,270 had so far applied for settled or pre-settled status.

But this figure would not include those that are applying for citizenship, it emerged at the meeting.

The report also suggests as many as 4,000 local jobs could be lost from the Bradford District as a result of hard Brexit.

The Council report also breaks down how many EU nationals are employed in different sectors in the district.

Bradford’s manufacturing sector employs an estimated 2,000 EU workers, while 1,200 work in the local construction industry. Two thousand EU nationals work in the district’s shops and wholesale businesses with another 1,200 working in the hospitality sector. Bradford’s transport and storage businesses employs 1,100 EU workers.

It also reveals that Bradford Council has stockpiled at least 30 days worth of fuel to keep Council vehicles running in the event of fuel shortages caused by No Deal.

The decision to leave the EU was made in a referendum that took place in June 2016 and saw 52 per cent vote in favour of leaving.

But, there is still uncertainty as to what form the UK’s exit from the EU will take, despite the date being just three weeks away.