COUNCIL bosses will wait until AFTER the UK leaves the EU to decide how Brexit will impact residents.

More than three years on from the vote for Britain to exit, West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) said there were too many unknowns to properly calculate the exact risk.

Speaking at last week’s audit committee, councillors considered the regular “strategic risks” report including cybersecurity, “significant financial funding reductions from Scottish Government”, health and safety of council staff and expanding early years provision.

Complex calculations go into determining the risk and reducing it to a 4x4, green-yellow-red grid.

But there is still not one for the risk to the council and its citizens from Brexit.

Labour councillor Martin Rooney said: “We don’t have a Brexit risk - but we have known about it for the last few years.

“I’m surprised we’re not going to have one until after we leave. I would have thought we would have a strategic risk coming to council at some point and this committee.”

Victoria Rogers, the council’s strategic lead for people and technology, replied: “I think that’s a good question, why after and not before.”

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“We don’t really know what we’re planning for. We have various Scottish planning assumptions. And we have developed mitigation strategies. All that has been [previously] built up in the background.

“The focus was on those Scottish planning assumptions.”

She also said there had been contingency planning and “liaising with local foodbanks”.

The Post understands one foodbank was last spoken to about Brexit 18 months ago by Renfrewshire Council, who are taking the lead on planning. Another hasn’t heard from the council at all.

Ms Rogers added: “We share your concern in terms of us leaving without a deal.”

The health and social care partnership (HSCP) presented its own Brexit risk in August as “certain” to have a “critical” impact on healthcare.

In February, Ms Rogers told councillors they were looking to develop a Brexit risk ahead of the then March 29 deadline.

With Brexit currently set for October 31, there is still no formal assessed risk set out for politicians or the public by WDC.

Chief Executive Joyce White said she was recently updated along with councils across the UK around resiliency forums, funding, the effect on fuel supplies, social care pressures with EU workers and others.

She said: “As your chief executive, I have formed a small working group. Potentially a no-deal Brexit will affect every area of this council. We are working very closely with civil contingency group.”

Mrs White added: “It’s very much ‘what if’ because there are so many unknowns. We will continue to work with the Scottish Government and partners across the country.”

Depute provost Karen Conaghan said, “It’s all a bit Donald Rumsfeld”, referring to the former US defence secretary’s famous quote about “there are known knowns ... there are known unknowns ... there are also unknown unknowns”.

She said: “We are doing what we can. Thank you for the reassurance we do have.”

John Mooney, committee chairman, said: “It really is quite sobering. Uncertainty for EU nationals is a really unfortunate situation to be thrust into.”

An Audit Scotland report on the annual accounts to the same meeting concluded they were “satisfied” the council had taken “all reasonable steps to ensure it is as prepared as possible for the potential implications of EU withdrawal”.

They said a “Brexit preparedness” form was submitted to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in April 2019.