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No-deal Brexit planning is underway in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:24 05 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:29 05 January 2019

File photo of a Norfolk Resilience Forum meeting. The forum has been co-ordinating Brexit planning for Norfolk councils and emergency services. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

File photo of a Norfolk Resilience Forum meeting. The forum has been co-ordinating Brexit planning for Norfolk councils and emergency services. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Norfolk county and district-level councils have been working with emergency services to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Norfolk Resilience Forum chairman Stuart Ruff. Picture: NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCILNorfolk Resilience Forum chairman Stuart Ruff. Picture: NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

But the county’s authorities have not stockpiled any supplies in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Norfolk Resilience Forum (NRF), which brings together councils, Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Norfolk police and others, has been co-ordinating planning for different Brexit outcomes, including a no-deal, to cut the impact of any disruption.

Stuart Ruff, the forum’s chair, said: “As part of the risk planning process, all partners have, and continue to, review its critical activities and assess the risk to all areas we serve.

“In line with government guidance, partners of the NRF have not undertaken any stockpiling of supplies. Part of our risk process was to ensure that key suppliers have their own business continuity arrangements in place.”

Mr Ruff said no extra money had been spent on the planning, and the only resources put into it had been “officer time”.

One NRF member, North Norfolk District Council, said its contractors and suppliers would be responsible for maintaining their services, so any stockpiling that was necessary would be up to them.

A spokesman said: “NNDC has assessed that it does not need to stockpile supplies. Key suppliers have their own business continuity arrangements and are responsible for maintaining the services they are contracted to provide to NNDC.”

The spokesman added: “NNDC will advise businesses and organisations in accordance with the direction of the NRF’s strategic group, which will be based on the findings of the Brexit task and finish group.”

Norwich City Council leader Alan Waters said in September he planned to write to local government secretary James Brokenshire and invoke legislation to demand the government hand over all information it has about the impact Brexit would have on Norwich.

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Central government has so far spent more than £4 billion on “Brexit preparedness” to cope with the extra cost of a no-deal, and health secretary Matt Hancock said he had become the “world’s number one buyer of fridges” to stockpile essential medicines.

-Have you been stockpiling in case of a no-deal Brexit? Tell us the details by emailing stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

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