NO meetings have taken place to prepare for Brexit by Wiltshire Council, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The council will be asked to create an urgent, comprehensive and cross-party Brexit risk and impact assessment for all council services by Liberal Democrat leader Ian Thorn at the next full council meeting on Tuesday.

In his motion, Cllr Thorn raised concerns that the recruitment and retaining of workers in social care provision for children and adults had significantly worsened since 2016 when the Brexit vote took place.

The bid to create a cross party group has already been approved by North Devon District Council and Cllr Thorn is hoping that Wiltshire will now follow suit.

He said: “It seems extraordinary that no attempt has been made to deal with whatever implications Brexit will have. Whether it’s a No Deal, Chequers deal or some others deal the impact will be significant.”

A Freedom of Information request revealed: “Wiltshire Council have not held any meetings specifically about the UK exiting the EU (Brexit). A range of financial planning meetings have considered the impact on

areas such as the health and social care workforce in Wiltshire. We have not undertaken any Brexit impact assessment, however Wiltshire Council via the Joint Strategic Economic Committee continues to work closely with the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP to plan for the use of the remaining European funding.”

Cllr Thorn continued: “We have a responsibility to our residents and to our families and loved ones that the quality of these services is maintained and they are provided cost effectively.

“I don’t know enough about Cooper Tires to know if Brexit or the natural of the sector has changed but I do fear that if we leave the EU without a deal and if we neglect to to have a proper plan in place there will be a real impact for business. This is a serious problem for Wiltshire Council to take seriously.

“Council will need to consider how it can assist businesses before and during the Brexit transition period.

“The findings and conclusions of this working group and the symposium would then be presented to full Council and other authorities.

“Citizens have an expectation – and a right – to the best possible understanding of the likely effects of Brexit on the Council’s services and to the local economy. We need the people of Wiltshire to contribute to; and to evaluate the full range of mitigations needed.”

The motion will be debated by councillors on Tuesday.