Brexit Assessments

Ally Tibbitt made this Freedom of Information request to Highland Council as part of a batch sent to 110 authorities

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Dear Highland Council,

This is a Freedom of Information request. I am interested in information from held by your organisation that relates to the process of planning and preparing for a possible future when the UK may not be a member of the European Union ("Brexit").

In particular:

1. How much has been spent on external consultants or support to advise on the implications and consequences of brexit, or recommend actions to mitigate any possible brexit impacts? If spend has occurred, please confirm the name of the supplier or suppliers and copies of any material produced by this process.

2. Please supply copies of any brexit planning documentation held by the organisation or consumed by senior management. This may include, but should not be limited to, Risk Assessments, Action Plans, Meeting minutes, Reports and presentations.

3. Please supply technical or advisory briefing documentation on brexit that has been produced by the organisation and supplied to other government agencies or bodies.

4. Please supply copies of any technical or advisory documentation that has been supplied to the agency from other public bodies that relates to Brexit contingency planning.

5. Please supply details of any assessment that has been made of the financial impact on the organisation, either positive or negative, of the brexit process. Has the organisation set-aside a contingency fund or invested as a direct consequence of the brexit process? If so, please provide summary details.

Please provide the requested information in electronic format. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Ally Tibbitt

Highland Council

Case Ref: HC0226-4218  
Dear Mr Tibbitt, 
We acknowledge receipt of your request for information under the
FOI legislation received on 22/09/2018.
Subject: 
Brexit Assessments
Request Detail:
This is a Freedom of Information request. I am interested in information
from held by your organisation that relates to the process of planning and
preparing for a possible future when the UK may not be a member of the
European Union ("Brexit"). In particular: 1. How much has been spent on
external consultants or support to advise on the implications and
consequences of brexit, or recommend actions to mitigate any possible
brexit impacts? If spend has occurred, please confirm the name of the
supplier or suppliers and copies of any material produced by this process.
2. Please supply copies of any brexit planning documentation held by the
organisation or consumed by senior management. This may include, but
should not be limited to, Risk Assessments, Action Plans, Meeting minutes,
Reports and presentations. 3. Please supply technical or advisory briefing
documentation on brexit that has been produced by the organisation and
supplied to other government agencies or bodies. 4. Please supply copies
of any technical or advisory documentation that has been supplied to the
agency from other public bodies that relates to Brexit contingency
planning. 5. Please supply details of any assessment that has been made of
the financial impact on the organisation, either positive or negative, of
the brexit process. Has the organisation set-aside a contingency fund or
invested as a direct consequence of the brexit process? If so, please
provide summary details. Please provide the requested information in
electronic format. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
The Highland Council will endeavour to respond within the legislative time
scale of 20 working days from date of receipt unless further clarification
of your request is required.
Further information on response times can be found at:
[1]http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR...
Yours Sincerely,
The Highland Council
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Mura h-eil na beachdan a tha air an cur an cèill sa phost-d seo a'
buntainn ri gnothachas Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd, 's ann leis an neach
fhèin a chuir air falbh e a tha iad, is chan eil iad an-còmhnaidh a'
riochdachadh beachdan na Comhairle, no buidhnean buntainneach, agus chan
eil am post-d seo na phàirt de chunnradh sam bith mura h-eil sin air
innse.

Listening * Open * Valuing * Improving * Supporting * Partnering * Delivering
Èisteachd * Fosgailte * Luach * Leasachadh * Taic * Com-pàirteachas *
Lìbhrigeadh

References

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D&I FOI, Highland Council

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Dear Mr Tibbitt

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002 or Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

 

We refer to your request for information on 26 September 2018. You
requested the following information on Brexit Assessments.

 

1.    How much has been spent on external consultants or support to advise
on the implications and consequences of brexit, or recommend actions to
mitigate any possible brexit impacts? If spend has occurred, please
confirm the name of the supplier or suppliers and copies of any material
produced by this process.

 

The majority of the Council’s work has been undertaken internally by the
Council’s own staff including the Highlands & Islands European Partnership
policy officer who is employed by the Highland Council on behalf of the
partnership. The one exception to this is a study into the potential
effects on agriculture in the Highlands & Islands. This study cost £9375
of which £2000 was contributed by the Highland Council with the remainder
being paid by other Highlands & Islands Local Authorities.

 

2.    Please supply copies of any brexit planning documentation held by
the organisation or consumed by senior management. This may include, but
should not be limited to, Risk Assessments, Action Plans, Meeting minutes,
Reports and presentations.

 

3. Please supply technical or advisory briefing documentation on brexit
that has been produced by the organisation and supplied to other
government agencies or bodies.

 

4. Please supply copies of any technical or advisory documentation that
has been supplied to the agency from other public bodies that relates to
Brexit contingency planning.

 

5. Please supply details of any assessment that has been made of the
financial impact on the organisation, either positive or negative, of the
brexit process. Has the organisation set-aside a contingency fund or
invested as a direct consequence of the brexit process? If so, please
provide summary details.

 

Questions 2 - 5 answered below:-

 

From the European Team perspective the Council didn’t undertake any work
between 1 January and the referendum date of 23 June 2016. Following the
announcement of the result a report was prepared for the meeting of the
Highland Council on potential effects of the decision to leave and this
was presented to Council on 29 June 2018. Because the Council’s European
team sits within the wider Economy & Regeneration team, most of this work
has focussed on impacts on the economy of the Highlands. The report
presented can be seen at
[1]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

 

A report focussing more specifically on European Engagement and Funding
was subsequently presented to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure
Committee on 2 November 2016 -
[2]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

 

A further report on European Engagement which included a further update on
potential impacts on Highland and the Highland Council was presented to
the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on 8 November
2017 -
[3]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

 

The Council’s European team sits within the wider Economy & Regeneration
team and further updates on activity have been contained within the
Economy & Regeneration reports presented to the Environment, Development
and Infrastructure Committee. These reports were as follows:-

16 August 2017 -
[4]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

1 February 2018 -
[5]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

16 August 2018 -
[6]https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...

 

As described in a number of the above reports much of the work to identify
potential impacts has been done in collaboration with the Council’s
partners in the Highlands & Islands European Partnership (HIEP) which
includes all Local Authorities in the Highlands & Islands. HIEP employs a
policy officer and this post is hosted by the Highland Council. The HIEP
policy officer with support from Highland Council staff has produced a
series of three documents on key issues as well as responding to a number
of Government consultations on anticipated Brexit impacts and these along
with any reports to the HIEP Board of Directors that updated the Board on
this work are attached.

 

COSLA has also undertaken a significant amount of work on the potential
impacts of Brexit on Scotland on behalf of Local Authorities. While the
reports these led to were not produced by and are not held by the Highland
Council there were instances where the Council either attended events to
feed in a Highland view or made written submissions. Where a written
submission was made these are attached to this response.

 

From a staffing perspective, the Highland Council have planned a number of
stages to help mitigate the impact on our existing and future workforce,
these are outlined below:

 

Stage 1

Communicate a strong and clear message to staff regarding the Council’s
commitment to support EU and EEA migrants to stay in Highland – the CEX
and Leader issued a joint statement.

Setting up communication channels with regular updates. Initially web
pages have been developed to disseminate information and link to latest
published updates.

 

Stage 2

Completed workforce audit to confirm the immigration status of employees.

 

Stage 3

Initiate direct communication with EU/EEA identified nationals.

 

Design support for impacted employees:

 

o More than 5 years –Settled Status guidance
o Less than 5 years – Other options guidance

 

Establish links with Corporate Workforce Planning

 

Stage 4

Ongoing communication including

•          FAQ’s

•          Specific forums (e.g. application support)

•          Guidance surgeries

•          Support for applying for relevant documentation

 

Under Section 20 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and/or
Regulation 16 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
(EIRs), you have the right to request that the Highland Council reviews
any aspect of how it has dealt with your request. This requirement for
review should be put in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer,
Chief Executive’s Office, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX, within 40
working days of receipt of this letter. The request should include details
of the information requested and the aspects of the Highland Council’s
response which you are not satisfied with.

 

If you are subsequently dissatisfied with the outcome of the Council's
review, you have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information
Commissioner under Regulation 17 of the EIRS, within six months of
receiving the Council's review response.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 Ingrid Frost

 

Customer Services Officer

E-mail: [7][email address]

Development and Infrastructure Service

The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road

Inverness, IV3 5NX

 

 

Unless related to the business of The Highland Council, the views or
opinions expressed within this e-mail are those of the sender and do not
necessarily reflect those of The Highland Council, or associated bodies,
nor does this e-mail form part of any contract unless so stated.
Mura h-eil na beachdan a tha air an cur an cèill sa phost-d seo a'
buntainn ri gnothachas Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd, 's ann leis an neach
fhèin a chuir air falbh e a tha iad, is chan eil iad an-còmhnaidh a'
riochdachadh beachdan na Comhairle, no buidhnean buntainneach, agus chan
eil am post-d seo na phàirt de chunnradh sam bith mura h-eil sin air
innse.

Listening * Open * Valuing * Improving * Supporting * Partnering * Delivering
Èisteachd * Fosgailte * Luach * Leasachadh * Taic * Com-pàirteachas *
Lìbhrigeadh

References

Visible links
1. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
2. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
3. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
4. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
5. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
6. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/mee...
7. mailto:[email address]