Edition 7: The Impact of Brexit on Councils
NLGN’s Leadership Index is a quarterly survey sent to all chief executives, council leaders/mayors in the UK. It provides insight into the level of confidence on key issues affecting local government.
The October 2019 survey additionally asked local government leaders about views on the effect of Brexit uncertainty on local services and how they are preparing local services for Britain’s departure from the EU.
Key findings from NLGN’s Leadership Index October 2019 include:
- Councils are increasingly pessimistic about the impact of Brexit. 70.7 per cent of council chiefs expect Brexit to have a negative or very negative impact on their local economy – an increase of 16 per cent since March 2018. Over the same period, those who expect Brexit to have a positive or very positive impact on the local economy has halved to 5.4 per cent.
- More than three quarters (79 per cent) of respondents have had to divert resources from key public service priorities to prepare for Brexit. 74.5 per cent of respondents from social care-providing councils have had to divert resources from key public service priorities to prepare for Brexit.
- Social care-providing councils appear more confident, when compared to all councils, in the preparedness of their key local services for Brexit. About three quarters of respondents from social care-providing councils indicated their adult social care (72 per cent) and children’s services (75.4 per cent) are prepared for Brexit.
- Amid the challenges presented by Brexit uncertainty, councils have been focusing on strengthening local and regional partnerships. Councils are taking part in weekly regional submissions, as well cross-authority working groups involving project officers and community engagement officers. Some councils are forming district-wide partnerships, e.g. linking local businesses with business support organisations.
- Optimism in the local business environment has continued in its trajectory of decline from 58.9 in the last quarter to 55.6 this quarter – its lowest level yet since the first Leadership Index survey in March 2018.
NLGN Leadership Index survey comprises 12 recurring questions across three key themes – economy, society and environment – and a series of topical questions which focus on current events affecting local government.
A full report of the results from the October 2019 survey can be downloaded HERE.
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