|Govt forced to publish data showing less than 3 in 10 UK exporters are prepared for ‘no deal’ BrexitNew data obtained by the Liberal Democrats from HM Treasury shows less than 3 in 10 exporters to the EU are ready for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Figures suggest most will not be ready until the beginning of 2021.|
In a no-deal Brexit, businesses that currently only trade with EU countries will need to apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number to trade goods into and out of the UK. HMRC uses this number to identify the business and collect duty on their goods.Various business lobbying organisations have been warning for months of a serious lack of preparedness amongst firms for a ‘no deal’ Brexit and how few British exporters to the EU have an EORI number enabling them to continue to trade after a ‘no deal’ Brexit.Chuka Umunna MP, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury & Business spokesperson asked HM Treasury (HMT) for the latest figures on how many businesses that will need an EORI number to export to the EU have one, in a parliamentary question on 18th July.
However he was told by the Financial Secretary Jesse Norman MP in an answer shortly before the summer Recess on 23rd July that “data on the number of traders that would need a UK EORI number is not readily available.”
This was in spite of the fact that Government has already privately shared the most recent data with various business groups. HMT also publicly released such data at the start the year but that was before leaving the EU ‘do or die’ on 31 October 2019 became government policy.Mr Umunna threatened to raise a Point of Order, complaining to the House of Commons Speaker about the unwarranted withholding of such data from Parliament, and also said he would submit a Freedom of Information Request to force disclosure of the latest data.
As a result, HMT have now provided the latest EORI numbers data to Mr Umunna which suggests less than 3 in 10 exporters that will need an EORI number to trade in a ‘no deal’ scenario have one. If exporters to the EU register for an EORI number at the current rate (up to 10,000 per month), all businesses exporting to the EU won’t be registered until the beginning of 2021 at the earliest.The data reveals:* Since December 2018, approximately 66,000 traders who currently trade just with the EU have been issued with a UK EORI number. * However, based on 2018 data, HMRC estimate that there are approximately 150,000 VAT registered traders who currently trade with the EU and may therefore need to obtain a UK EORI number.* Figures released by HMRC in February 2019 revealed there were a further 95,000 non VAT registered businesses that trade with the EU and need to take action too. * According to HMRC the volume of businesses that have registered for UK EORI numbers to date is equivalent to around two thirds of the total value of trade undertaken with the EU, by VAT registered companies.
Commenting on the forced release of the latest EORI data, Chuka Umunna, the Liberal Democrat Treasury & Business spokesperson, said:“These figures reveal that an overwhelming majority of UK exporters to the EU are unprepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit and will not be in a position to deal with the mountain of red tape and bureaucracy it will burden them with on 31 October. “Pursuing a ‘no deal’ Brexit is wholly irresponsible political choice of the new administration for which there is no mandate and which will put businesses and jobs at risk.“Any form of Brexit will harm the economy and put obstacles in front of UK firms which is why Liberal Democrats not only want a final say for the people on any deal but are also the only party that can get into Government which is committed to stopping Brexit altogether.”
At the last full Council meeting of Bury Council, Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Wright asked a number of questions to the Greater Manchester Police representative:
Community Policing Expenditure:
Could the Council’s member of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel inform members what proportion of the Greater Manchester Police budget is spent on local community police teams?
We were quite shocked about how low the future is:
The proportion of Greater Manchester Police budget that is spent on Neighbourhood Policing and Community Liaison is 11%.
Members will also be aware that in March the local approach to community policing changed with the introduction of a new Neighbourhood model. The model reverts back to a previous incarnation with 3 dedicated Inspectors taking responsibility for North, Central and South regions of the borough. This change combined with new shift patterns resulted in more Officers on the beat at any one time.
The new Policing precept announced for 2019/20 also resulted in 3 additional Police Officers for Bury who have now started and will further bolster the Officer numbers available.
Could the Council’s member of the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel inform members how many incidents have occurred which have required police attendance on the Metrolink in the current financial year and previous two financial years?
The answer is that there are a lot, and the level is increasing: Unfortunately, limitations of how the data is recorded means that we can’t provide a figure for 2017/18. The following data is a combination of Police data, Metrolink data and Transport for Greater Manchester Data.
In 2018/19 – There were 3481 incidents
Between April 2019 and 30th Jun 2019 there were 946 incidents, which is approximately 8% higher than the same point last year.
Members may be aware that security on the Metrolink is overseen by the Travelsafe Partnership which is jointly led by TfGM and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) with support from:
o First Manchester;
o GoAhead NW; and
o British Transport Police.
Travelsafe has been in place since 2015 and commenced as a 3 year pilot. At the end of the pilot the Partnership went through a period of review and a complete change in leadership and moved away from the traditional ‘boots on the ground’ approach to more intelligence-driven tactics and prevention.
There is a TravelSafe Partnership Strategy in place for 2019-21 the following aims:
o Improve the perception of safety & security across public transport, offering reassurance to passengers;
o Manage instances of Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) occurring on the transport network; and
o Discourage fare evasion.
Also, Members will be glad to hear that the Travelsafe Partnership have funded 50 PCSOs to help manage security on the network and a further 8 Officer employed by the Network. There is also a proposal to move to 50 Police Officers with a broader Transport remit sometime in the future.
The additional investment combined with the intelligence-led planning will start to see more targeted work, bringing the number of recorded incidents down.
Earlier this month was the regular meeting of Greater Manchester’s Corporate Issues and Reform Scrutiny Committee – specifically focussing on the proposals from Greater Manchester Fire for changes in the fire service going forwards.
Each of the three GM Scrutiny Committees consist of 15 councillors from across Greater Manchester (at the moment that is – 11 Labour, 3 Conservative 1 Lib Dem). Prestwich Lib Dem Councillor Tim Pickstone was elected Chair of the Scrutiny Committee for 2019-20, and reports back:
The meeting was held at the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Training and Safety Centre in Bury – the largest Fire-Fighter training facility in the UK. Before the meeting proper we had a tour of the facilities and demonstration of some of the fire-fighter training that takes place at the centre, including a demonstration of some of GM Fire’s new equipment for dealing with high rise fires. I would very much recommend that all schools take up the offer of free training provided by the centre which has some excellent facilities. Our meeting was held in the full-scale ‘street’ mock up inside the centre.
The meeting heard from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s office about the background to the review of the fire service. The Mayor is responsible for the Fire Service and the ‘Programme for Change’ review was commissioned with the aim of coming up with a programme to address the challenges faced by the service.
The consultation process on the Programme for Change has now finished, and final proposals are being developed. These proposals were:
– removal of six ‘2nd’ fire engines (Manchester Centre, Blackley, Heywood, Moss Side, Oldham and Eccles).
– Crewing level of 4 (as opposed to 5) on all fire engines
– Three station mergers (Bolton Central and Bolton North, Manchester Central and Phillips Park, and Stockport and Whitehill).
– For fire-fighters changes include a new shift system, more modern annual leave arrangements
– new delivery models for Prevention, Protection, Youth Engagement and Administration
Following the proposals, the Mayor of Greater Manchester wrote to Greater Manchester Councils and MPs to clarify that:
– there would be no reduction in the number of fire fighters from the May 2017 levels
– there would be no compulsory redundancies
The Scrutiny Committee had a lot of questions and comments on the proposals to the Chief Fire Officer and his team. There were a number of points that we wanted to look at further at a meeting which will take place before the Greater Manchester Authority makes further decisions on the proposals in the Autumn. These include:
– the ability of the fire service to cope with growth in Greater Manchester – more houses, more high-rises and the exceptional growth in the city centre areas in Manchester and Salford Quays.
– understand fully how GM Fire has responded to the issues raised by people in the consultation process
– understanding the financial issues around crewing levels and the sustainability of this going forwards into future years.
More than 300 children face becoming homeless during the school holidays this summer as a result of the housing crisis, the equivalent to a primary school’s worth of children, councils have warned.
The Local Government Association estimates 320 homeless children in England could be placed into temporary accommodation over the next six weeks, based on trends for the last two years.
The number would exceed the size of an average primary school, which has 282 pupils.
The LGA, which represents councils, is calling on the new Prime Minister to make tackling homelessness an urgent priority.
According to latest government figures, there are more than 124,490 children living in temporary accommodation.
The severe shortage of social rented homes available to house families in mean councils have no choice but to place households into temporary accommodation, including bed and breakfasts.
Not only is this financially unsustainable for councils, it is also extremely disruptive to the families and children involved.
Placements in temporary accommodation can present serious challenges for families – from parents’ employment and health to children’s ability to focus on school studies and form friendships.
As part of its Councils Can campaign, the LGA wants the new Prime Minister and his government to introduce a range of measures to help councils tackle homelessness and to give them the tools and powers to resume their historic role as major housebuilders of good, quality affordable homes for social rent.
It says councils should be allowed to keep 100 per cent of receipts of council homes sold under Right to Buy – to reinvest in new replacement homes – and to also be able to set Right to Buy discounts locally.
With councils facing a £421 million funding gap by 2025 to tackle homelessness, the LGA is urging the Government to use the Spending Review to give councils long-term sustainable funding to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.
It is also calling on the Government to adapt welfare reforms so local housing allowance rates go back to covering at least the lower 30 per cent of market rents.
LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader Howard Sykes said:
“While for many children the summer holidays will be a break from school to be enjoyed with family and friends, for others they face the tragedy of becoming homeless.
“It is not right that hundreds of children risk enduring the disruption of being placed into temporary accommodation.
“Councils desperately want to find every family a good, quality home, but the lack of available housing is making this an almost insurmountable challenge.
“This is why we are urging the Prime Minister to make tackling homelessness a priority.
“While it was good the Government lifted the housing borrowing cap to give councils more freedom to build new homes, the new Prime Minister should take this even further and in the Spending Review give councils the tools they need to resume their historic role of building the homes the country needs.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Methodology: The calculation of 320 children potentially being placed in temporary accommodation is based on a two-year trend, from December 2016 to December 2018, the most recent period for which data is available, which shows an extra 231 children are being placed in temporary accommodation every month.
In December 2016 there were 118,930 children living in temporary accommodation, which increased to 124,490 in December 2018. A difference of 5,560 amounts to 231 each month over a two year period. Calculated across six weeks – the length of the school holiday – this would make 320 children.
2. Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign calls on the new Prime Minister to ensure the forthcoming Spending Review secures the future of vital local services and the long-term financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information – https://www.local.gov.uk/spending-review-2019
At the most recent full Council meeting of Bury Council, your Liberal Democrat team of councillors asked a number of questions regarding rubbish and recycling.
Questions and Answers below:
Councillor Cristina Tegolo asked about the number of households that have had their bins removed by the Council: “Could the Leader inform members how many households have had recycling bins removed in the current financial year and previous two years?”
The following numbers of bins (of all colours) have been asked tobe picked up or removed by residents via the Contact Centre:
2017/18 706 bins
2018/19 584 bins
2019/20 176 bins (so far)
The majority of these bins are ‘abandoned’ in back street environments and are often contaminated recycling bins, which cannot be emptied on a recycling round.
Generally speaking an Officer would not remove recycling bins from a household for persistent misuse and contamination other than in the case of capacity, where someone might genuinely have difficulty determining what waste should go in each bin and who inadvertently are incapable of recycling properly.
Councillor Steve Wright asked about how much of the blue and green bin waste streams were rejected because of ‘contamination’ (the wrong things being put in the bins.The answer – 18.45% of blue bin waste seems extra–ordinarily high – 1 in 6 lorries of rubbish rejected because they are contiminated….. “Could the Leader inform members how many tonnes and what percentage of Bury’s ‘blue bin’ and ‘green bin’ waste streams were rejected due to contamination the current financial year and previous two years?”
(Answer) All co-mingled recycling (glass, can sand plastic bottles) collected across GM (with the exception of Wigan Council) is delivered to a single sorting facility or MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) at Longley Lane, Sharston in South Manchester. Co-mingled recycling in Bury is collected in the blue bin.
The average MRF reject rate (for the whole of GM) for the above time period is 18.45%. Rejects consist ofitems incorrectly placed in the co-mingled recycling by residents that cannot be recycled and they are incinerated with associated energy recovery.
In the previous two years thefollowing tonnages of rejects from Bury have been incinerated:
2018/19 1733 tonnes
2017/18 1560 tonnes
Reject rates for the paper and card recycling stream i.e. the green bin in Bury are minimal by comparison and as such no contamination figures are provided by the GMCA.
Councillor Tim Pickstone asked a related question about the amount of plastic waste which ends up in the ‘grey bins’ stream – the answer seems like quite a lot!:“Could the Council’s spokesperson on the GMWDA inform members what the estimated volume and percentage of plastics are that are disposed of through the residual waste stream?”
(Answer) Using data from the recent waste composition study, it is estimated that c. 58,841 tonnes of plastic – this is 16.05% for all dense plastics and plastic films in the residual kerbside collected waste stream in Greater Manchester.
Councillor Steve Wright asked how much money the 9 local councils in Greater Manchester spent on buying Greater Manchester Waste Disposal out of the PFI (private finance initiative) deal with Viridor Laing.The amount (£1/2 billion) is a staggeringly large amount of public money….. “Could the Council’s spokesperson on the GMWDA inform members how much public money was spent releasing the Authority from the previous waste disposal contract with Viridor Laing?”
(Answer) Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority’s £500m buy-out was funded by around £300m in borrowing from the region’s combined authority – via Oldham council, Manchester council and the region’s pension fund – along with £120m government borrowing. The remainder comes from up-front cash already held by GMWDA.
Finally, in response to a request from a resident, Councillor Tim Pickstone asked about what the council’s approach was when a dead cat was picked up by the refuse collection teams: “Could the Leader inform members what the Council’s approach is to waste collection of dead pets, particularly dead cats (ie cats found dead in the street). What measures are in place to attempt to contact owners through cat’s microchips?
(Answer) When a dead pet (usually a cat) is picked up from the highway by the Street Cleansing service it is brought back to Bradley Fold Depot to be scanned. The exception is those animals that are so mutilated as being incapable of being scanned.
If the scan detects a microchip it will identify its number. An Officer then contacts an organisation called ‘Petlog’ who will confirm the contact details of the animal’s owner. The same Officer will then contact the owner explaining the situation to them and giving them two options.
They can leave the animal with Street Cleansing to dispose of, explaining to the owner precisely what this means, i.e. it is delivered to SUEZ at Fernhill Transfer Loading Station for placement in a freezer from which it is collected by another company who remove the animal for cremation. Alternatively, the service will deliver the animal back to its owner if requested.
If no chip is detected in the animal then it is kept for a maximum of 24 hours on the vehicle before being delivered to SUEZ and placed in the freezer.
Once an animal is placed in the freezer it cannot be retrieved by the owner because it is then classed as hazardous waste, only to be removed for disposal via incineration.
Hope these answers are useful – get in touch if you have any questions or comments!
Today, Liberal Democrats have celebrated the announcement that computer pioneer and code-breaker Alan Turing will feature on the new design of the Bank of England’s £50 note.
It was the campaign by the Liberal Democrats, led by John Leech, the former MP forManchester Withington, which eventually led to Alan Turing’s posthumous pardon. During the campaign, Leech submitted several bills to Parliament. After his campaign proved successful, Leech turned to secure pardons for the 75,000+ other men and women convicted of the same outdated crime in what is now nicknamed the Alan Turing Law.
Following the announcement, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
“Alan Turing made an immeasurable contribution to our country.
“Not only is he the father of modern computing, but the work that was done at Bletchley Park in cracking the German Enigma Machine saved countless lives in bringing the war to an end.
“He was for an important period of time also a resident in my Twickenham constituency when he worked at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington.
“Today’s announcement is monumental in recognising the invaluable work he did. It is also an important reminder of a part of our history where prejudice and blatant bigotry were enshrined in law.
“In honouring him today, we must also remember that bigotry and discrimination leads to a terrible waste of talent for society as a whole.”
Welcoming today’s news, Turing pardon architect John Leech said:
“It is almost impossible to put into words the difference that Alan Turing made to society, but perhaps the most poignant example is that his work is estimated to have shortened the war by four years and saved up to 21 million lives.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Turing will be the face of the new £50 note and I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science.
“But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”
Bury’s team of Liberal Democrat councillors have been successful in getting Bury Council to sign up to a ambitious target of 2030 to be a carbon neutral Council and borough, as our part in tackling the climate emergency.
The agreement came as a Liberal Democrat Group amendment to a Labour Group motion on climate change, which had proposed a more modest target of 2038. The Liberal Democrat proposal was accepted and is now the policy of Bury Council.
Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader Tim Pickstone said:
“2038 is not ambitious enough. This is an emergency because we have not done anything about it.
In 1979 this might have been a worry. In 2019 it is an emergency. In 2030 it is game over because this is when scientists tell us that climate change is irreversible damage. It is ridiculous to think that people not even born yet have to wait to be adults before we can achieve this.
What do you do in an emergency? Greta Thunberg tells us that we need to act like our house is on fire. What you don’t do in an emergency is set up a Working Gropu! We are making decisions every day that affect our climate and we need to change policies immediately.
You can see Councillor Pickstone making the proposals here.
Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael has presented his Plastic Pollution Bill in Parliament.
The Bill, supported by Friends of the Earth and the Women’s Institute, aims to phase-out all non-essential single use plastics by 2025 and obliges the Government to produce a strategy that will end plastic pollution by 2042.
Ahead of presenting his Bill, Alistair Carmichael said:
“The Conservative Government have grabbed the headlines with their bans on plastic straws and coffee stirrers, but we need a government that produces more than a series of publicity stunts.
“The plastic in “The Great Garbage Patch”, a floating pile of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean three times the size of France, was found to be 46% from discarded fishing nets. Governments need to do more to tackle this.
“This Bill sets meaningful targets in law, and creates an advisory committee, like the climate change committee. This, in turn, will lead to meaningful action to tackle plastic pollution, and set an example around the world. Michael Gove’s single-use gimmicks must be consigned to the political recycling bin.”
Last month was the Bury’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Cristina Tegolo reports:
The Committee’s role involves reviewing and scrutinising any matters relating to the provision and operation of health services in the area of the Council, scrutinising organisations external to the Council and holding the Leader / Cabinet Members to account. Bury’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meets in public and includes a public question time at the start of the meeting. Scrutiny committees actively welcome involvement with the public and seek the views of members of the public on services that are being considered. Scrutiny committees also welcome suggestions for subjects to be considered for inclusion in the scrutiny work programme.
Geoff Little, Chief Executive Bury Council provided an update on the Health and Social Care Reforms. Chris O’Gorman, Local Care Organisation Independent Chair, and Julie Gonda, Director of Adult Social Care, provided an update on Bury Local Care Organisation. John Hobday, Consultant in Public Health, provided an overview of key health and well-being data for Bury and Highlited areas for future interventions. Mr Little explained how, despite amount of money being spent, outcomes and health expectancies for Bury people are still not acceptable. In Holyrood life expectancy for 2013 – 2017 for a male was 77.6 years to 79.5 years (inSt. Mary’s it is 79.5 years to 81.4 years)and for females was 82.4 years to 84.1 years (in St. Mary’s is 84.1 years to 85.7 years). Bury “One Commissioning Organisation” wants to have a program of reforms based on the needs of Bury residents, clients and patients. Ultimately and over time the Bury “One Commissioning Organisation” will encompass all strategic commissioning from the Council and CCG and other public services where possible. The main goals are to:
- Empower Bury people to remain well and make healthy decisions
- Close the financial gap and improve outcomes
- Create a different model based on understanding of families and carers
- Take control of the system as whole
- Improve services in the community for the most vulnerable
I commented on the importance of education and especially promoting health and wellbeing of children under 5. I also welcomed Bury Council’s plan to empower Bury people to remain well for longer and supporting and caring for people in their homes. However, I pointed out that the Planning department is probably not aware of the objectives of the “One Commissioning Organisations”. I gave as an example the planning meeting that I attended on the previous day, in which a Community Centre at the heart of a residential area, which could be used for exercising classes and health promoting activities, was changed into offices and a block of apartments (in Green Belt and in Conservation Area) had received planning permission even if the 16 apartments were missing the most basic accessibility and inclusive design standards.
More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.
Please join us to reflect on the most relevant issues pertaining to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the latest Brexit odds under the final two leadership candidates of the Conservative Party and the strategies that the remain parties should adopt in order to defeat the Brexit Party.
Jane Brophy MEP
Cllr John Leech (Manchester)
Lord Andrew Stunell
Graham Hughes, writer and activist
The event will be held on Saturday 6th July at:
Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall
11 Fairfax Rd
17:00 Welcome (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
18:45 Raffle (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
Tickets are free but please register for your free admission ticket on Eventbrite
or send us an email:
We are looking forward to seeing you on the 6th July in Prestwich.